It’s Been A While

Hello. I wish I was writing to announce that I’ve finished the 37th book of my year, but I’m still working through that one (Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray. It is a [really good] brick of a book.) Instead, I have a quick life update/brief explanation for my slowed reading rates over the past month or so.

One week from Thursday, I am moving to Denver, Colorado to attend the Denver Publishing Institute. You can learn more about the program here, but it’s essentially a month-long graduate certification program focused on all things book publishing. It is going to be an intense month, but an invaluable opportunity for me to learn about all the different areas of book publishing.

Aside from beginning a program that is focused on what I love most in life, and the awesome networking opportunities that will come with it, I am so incredibly excited to experience something new for the first time in what feels like a long time.

I have spent my entire life living within the same 60-ish mile radius. I was born and raised in Cedar Rapids, and went only 40 minutes away for school. I do love Iowa, and the people I’ve grown up with here. I can appreciate how hard-working and down-to-earth my fellow Iowans are, and I’d never change a minute of a humid summer night making my own fun with friends when there was literally nothing to do.

At the same time, I’ve been feeling more than claustrophobic, and I recognize that it’s time for me to experience something new for a bit. I kind of had this naïve idea that I’d get a publishing job right out of college and move to New York City before I even turned 22, but I now understand how unrealistic that is.

I’m thankful for my post-grad year spent working and pretending I’m still a kid, but I feel more ready to commit the time and effort necessary to get a publishing job. I realize it won’t just fall into my lap.

It’s also been a really long time since I could say that I have no idea where I’ll be in a year. My housing is taken care of for the month that this program lasts, but after that I’m on my own. I’m going to do my best to either stay in Denver or move elsewhere without coming back to Iowa. The uncertainty of it all is kind of terrifying, but also really exciting. I feel ready for the opportunity to make huge mistakes and learn from them without having my parents to fall back on.

Anyway, all of that being said: this whole DPI program has really slowed down my 100-books-in-2015 goal. Earlier this month, we were sent manuscripts and our advance assignments for the program. So far, the assignments have been awesome and I already feel like I’m learning quite a bit. But they’ve also been time-consuming, and that’s why the book reviews have slowed way down. I am still aiming to finish 100 books, though.

However, if on December 31 I find myself heading out of my publishing-house-office to celebrate the New Year in a city where I’ve never lived, and I haven’t quite finished all 100 of my books, I don’t think I’m going to hold it against myself. ◊

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