In the past year or so, I’ve come to the realisation that the only kind of journalism I’m interested in are book and music reviews – which you can’t really make a career out of straight away and live off. They’re both competitive, and I probably wouldn’t be able to focus solely on them until much much later on. So I had a bit of a life evaluation, or more like a think about what I want to do with my life career wise, and of course I kept coming back to the ultimate dream of being an author. I love books, so it made sense that I should go into a career about books – and this is where publishing comes in.
I have very little knowledge about the publishing industry, especially as all of my experience is in the journalism sector. So began the panic earlier this year of writing to as many publishers as possible practically begging them to let me follow them around for a couple weeks (meaning work shadowing, not stalking). I made a long post previously about putting yourself out there, and this is basically what I was thinking about whilst writing it. After a few replies saying not possible, and one panicked 15 minute conversation where I was offered a placement on a week that I was away in France, I finally had an offer I could accept – and that’s where I’ve been for the past two weeks.
I was mainly in editorial in a very small publishing house – there were only six or seven people in the office every day, and on my last day there were just three of them due to holidays – so I was able to have an insight into several different areas. I was reading through manuscripts, proof reading, compiling many different spreadsheets for Sales, and several other jobs. I’m almost tempted to write ‘completed’ on my reading challenge for this year with the amount of books I had to skim through over the past two weeks. In my first week, I read at least two manuscripts a day, but as it was mainly skim reading just to get a gist of the plot and writing style, that probably doesn’t count.
There were classic, stereotypical intern moments, such as being sent out on an errand, sorting out the bookcases in the office, and having lunch at itsu most days. There were also jobs I didn’t think I’d be given, such as going through competition entries and assessing writing.
At this current moment in time, I’m sitting in a towel having just had a shower and have about forty minutes before I have to head off to work (no rest for the wicked), and am drawing a serious mind blank on what else to say about these two weeks. So I’ll end with this: I’m so happy I managed to secure the internship, and although it was unpaid it was fantastic experience that I will very proudly add to my CV. I’ve learned so much about the industry, met some fantastic people, and definitely have more of an idea of what I want to go into.