You’ve been reading my opinions, have seen my advice, and watched me run a contest. But I’ve never really gotten into the nitty-gritty of what I do with Linda, or why. Let’s remedy that now!
After graduating with my Bachelor’s in English and discovering that no, I couldn’t easily find a job (Surprise! Getting hired as an editorial assistant with no experience wasn’t happening!), I decided to go into a Master’s program that was focused on what I’ve always loved (which are books, in case that wasn’t clear).
At first, I was terrified I wasn’t doing the right thing and that I wouldn’t know what to do in order to pursue my dream. However, at school I found mentors, asked questions, and decided I was going to make it work because working in publishing is truly what I want to do. I took a lot of suggestions, joined some publishing associations, and as my first semester was coming to an end, I realized I had to start looking for an internship. So, I decided to talk about it with everyone, and I mean everyone (e.g. my hairdresser, the guy at the deli counter, every family member I have, my friend’s brother’s uncle). Because of that I found my internship with Linda. I was at a Women’s National Book Association meeting, discussing internships with a few women and Linda overheard and asked me to send her my resume. And that was that!
As Linda’s intern I get to do so many things that are teaching me about the publishing industry. I get to write for Linda’s blog; I’m learning to write reader’s reports and editorial letters; I’m understanding Google drive better and troubleshooting problems; I work on and organize Excel spreadsheets; I read queries and manuscripts and I listen to Linda pitching to editors on the phone. All of this has been an invaluable learning experience so far, and all because I put myself out there, kept going and didn’t give up on my dreams.
A lot of you might be thinking, “that’s all well and good, but writing is damn hard and finding representation is even harder!” This may be true, but the principles behind following your dreams don’t change much. With this in mind, I’ve put together some bits of advice I want to share with you.
Try not to be desperate. When you’re desperate you look, feel and sound sad and unwelcoming. It’s draining and not the way you want to start any kind of relationship with anyone.
Try to keep evolving. Say you are querying one way; maybe it’s time to switch up your pitch? Revamp your story? Try a different way to find representation?
If writing is your passion let it stay that way. Don’t take away from what you love to do with the hope of getting published. Getting published would be great of course, but not getting published can also just be a chance to improve your writing.
I believe that if you stay true to who you are, are open to failure, and always move toward your dreams, you won’t go wrong.
I’d love to hear your comments below with any tools you use to keep your dreams (writing or otherwise) in perspective.
Kimberly Richardson is currently interning for Linda Epstein at The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency, while pursuing her Masters degree in Pace University’s Publishing Program. She also interns at the National Association of Professional Women. You can follow Kimberly on Twitter @kimberly_ann688.