I’ve long thought that getting into the book-publishing business might be a good next step in my life, but I also figured that — like many other things — a path would become clear at some point (or it wouldn’t, which would be a different sort of sign).
On Twitter last week I noticed someone mentioning an internship opportunity at an independent publisher. Chatting with Claire, I realized it was the sort of place that could teach me a lot about the business as well as one where I’d feel comfortable. So I applied for the internship — which is unpaid save for a monthly MTA card (nothing to sneeze at) but also part-time so I can continue the freelance work that sustains me — through my favorite means (a leap of faith). And not only did I get called in for an interview but I was also — yesterday — offered the internship.
I start on Monday.
Throughout the interview process my age was brought up as a potential liability, but the fact that I’m “an adult” was also mentioned as an asset. It’s going to be a little weird being an intern at an age at which I’m old enough to be many an intern’s mother, but I think that’s mostly an ego thing. I’m eager to learn about a new industry in which I can take so many of the skills I’ve developed as a journalist and put them to a good (albeit different) use.
The program is six months long and virtually everyone who’s gone through it has landed a good job with an agency or publishing house afterward. It’s been made clear that I may have a more difficult time than most in getting such a job — my age and my tattoos are the two biggest things, I’m told — but I’m used to finding success (however marginal) in places where other people see only difficulties or problems.
I’m both excited and nervous about Monday. One thing is for sure, though: this is a huge change. Also: the possibilities down the line have now become limitless.