I've been an aspiring novelist since i was 5 and I discovered a true love of reading other authors when I was 8. I've secretly wanted to be an editor ever since I learned that was a job, but didn't quite know how to make that happen. I live in a suburb of Los Angeles and I know there has to be some sort of publishing world out here, but I find it overwhelming trying to find good information on the internet and I was hoping you could steer me in the right direction.
One of the reasons I never pursued editing/publishing is because I know that I don't have all of the qualifications that most places are looking for, even for entry level positions. I was agoraphobic from the ages of 17-27, and then I worked as a cashier for 7 years and then my mom died and I quit everything, but not before getting my AA from the local community college.
I currently work at a comedy club. I started as an intern about 3 years ago, and have worked my way up to Booker of the smaller, developmental room of the club. Some of my duties include scheduling talent for 13 shows a week, training interns to run shows, hosting and running auditions twice a week, teaching an emcee workshop, and figuring out how to promote the shows so that audiences will come out and see them.
I'm not technically qualified for the job I have now, but that doesn't stop me from doing it. The problem is that every time I get promoted, I can't help but feel that there is someone out there who would a) be more suited for it and b) appreciate it more. I love comedy and I love the owners of the club, but I feel that the energy that I pour into my job is flowing in the wrong direction. I really want to be a part of the publishing industry. Not being qualified for the job I have now has given me the spark of confidence to pursue something in the field I really want to be a part of but I am a little lost, so any direction you could give me would be very much appreciated.
What exactly do you think we're looking for in an intern?
I read this list of what you've accomplished and the only reason I didn't ask you in for an interview is cause you live in LA.
(Most publishing internships are in NYC, cause most of publishing is in NYC)
Fuck this qualification nonsense you're using to doubt yourself.
What you've DONE is what impresses me. You've exhibited initiative, courage and organization skills. That's EXACTLY what we look for.
Here's what you do: write a polite letter asking for an informational interview to every company associated with publishing that you can find. Explain that you are looking to make a career change, and you're eager to learn about the industry so you can apply for jobs.
A lot of people will ignore you (they are idiots); a few will say sure come on in. Go with a list of questions. Don't be afraid of sounding stupid. Ask, take notes. Expect to get about no more than 20-30 minutes. At the close of the interview ask if they have suggestions for you. FOLLOW THOSE even the ones you think are beyond your grasp.
Write a nice thank you note after you leave. (On paper, with an envelope and stamp.)
Expect to spend some time learning. Don't think of this as being stalled. Think of this as filling your gas tank for the road trip ahead.
If you move to New York, get in touch. Yes, I'm dead serious here.