In a lot of ways, I think I have something of a “dream job.” At least, I’d been dreaming about it for years, so in that sense, if none other, the phrasing works. And certainly, the existence of programs like the Denver Publishing Institute and Ooligan demonstrate, ultimately, the desirability of jobs in publishing. So one of the weirdest things about landing that dream-job-right-out-of-college has been how ordinary it all feels. I wasn’t expecting the Maxwell Perkins-type literary world—most everybody has taken great pains to disabuse me of that notion—but, for the most part, the Great and/or Notorious Publishing Industry feels a lot like any other office job. You know, staplers, computer problems, spreadsheets, customer service…
And sure, there are moments of blissed out joy (“I work with BOOKS!!!”) but these have been fairly infrequent and somewhat tempered by an ever-increasing to-do list (Only filled 6 sticky notes today!).
But that’s pretty much how I felt until 1:13 this afternoon.
Then, at 1:14 p.m., Tuesday, the 21st of February, the mail came.
There was, as you’ve probably guessed, a package. And inside that package was a book proposal. Now, I do work at a publisher, so this in itself wasn’t unusual or unexpected—or even, for better or worse, all that exciting anymore. But this proposal was addressed to me. With my name on it. To me.
As in, “Dear Maggie, I would like to submit for review the manuscript of my book…”
I think it’s pretty conventional in fiction to have some kind of small moment-inspired epiphany. Someone will eat something or visit a favorite restaurant* and suddenly She LOVES Him, or This Is WRONG. And so on. I think it’s slightly less common in reality. While, certainly, memory can be triggered by sights or sounds or tastes, I don’t tend to have a Major Life Realization every time I eat a cookie.
Seeing this package wasn’t all that different. Aside from the giddy excitement that caused me to text far more people than I’m comfortable admitting, the only realization I came to was “I work in Publishing.” As epiphanies go, I doubt it would really sell, but it was still pretty important for me.
Sometimes it can take a while for things to sink in, and 6 months is a bit on the long side, but this is what I learned today: I work in Publishing.
And it’s awesome.
P.S. Ryan accused me recently of concluding my posts too definitively for comments to really be an option. Since, as I mentioned above, I’ve probably texted this news to a large percentage of our audience, I thought I’d actually invite responses instead of simply expecting you to read it twice 🙂 Does seeing your own name bring you unparalleled joy? What was the last piece of mail that got you really excited? Had any good epiphanies lately? Your thoughts (and/or fawning congratulations) are welcome below!