A *big* week (with a catch)

So here’s the deal. It’s been an awesome week. Not in the story-writing sense, but awesome nevertheless. Let me explain.

This week was… London Book Fair! 🙌🏽 Oh my gosh was it exciting. Of course, as a writer and story-lover, and also as someone trying to get into the publishing world; I’ve actually been writing about this over on my new boy meets pub blog – check it out. (Yep, another blog, I’m crazy). I mentioned both my publishing job search and London Book Fair, last week.

Even though I’ve paced myself this week, giving myself some time to recover, recharge and exercise, it’s been a pretty full-on three days with a lot to take in. The bookish community is a lovely one (I keep using that word this week, I feel so British), and it’s been nice to meet some folks IRL as well as the amazing ones I’ve ‘met’ online so far.

On the first day of the Book Fair, I somehow managed to do some writing mid-late pm, sat in a coffee shop trying to recover before dinner with my friends that evening. What I’ve realised is that when I’m exhausting from socialising and such, I also feel creatively depleted. It wasn’t used. But I’m glad I put pen to paper and got some words out.

Whilst I’m focusing on the job search, I’m trying to be kind to myself; even if I’ve written just a teeny, tiny amount (like this week), I’m moving forward.

Besides, there’s a fair chunk to go of the first draft, and then I know there’s a heavy first edit to follow that. But it’s all good. Us authors (well, wannabe-authors, but f*ck it, I wanna call myself an author!) are human. Which means it’s good for us to go out and meet other like-minded souls and writers, like I was able to do this week.

Here are some highlights (get the full scoop over here):

– The ‘Society of Young Publishers’ held 2 really useful events at the Book Fair, and I also became a member last week which includes lots of useful stuff, including discounted tickets to their social events
– I met some lovely (that word again) folks on Wednesday evening, which apparently is always ‘the busiest day’ of the three.
– I realised there are hundreds more publishers than I’d heard of – possibly 1000s!
– The worlds of traditional publishing and self-publishing are, apparently, worlds apart (perhaps obvious, but these two really don’t get along)
– There are lots of parts within publishing, some of which I don’t know an awful lot about and are worth exploring – e.g. Rights

We’re all human at the end of the day – and though getting that foot-in-the-door can often come down to networking (plus a bit of luck) – folks there were generally really nice, honest and supportive. I got some amazing advice, through the panel and conversations with others I’d met, about getting into publishing. I met some interesting people and made some useful ‘contacts’ – but, most of all, I met the sort of people I’d probably end up being friends with – which is really reassuring, and feels important to me.

I liked the whole energy of the London Book Fair, and though I don’t know where I’ll start or end up in publishing, I’m excited about this new chapter of mine. I’m hoping I can build on the excitement and momentum of the Book Fair, and be proactive the rest of this week and next with applications/emails, and hopefully things will happen.

Of course, working in publishing is different from being an author. And I’ve had to keep reminding myself that I ought to be getting into the industry for the right reasons (i.e. not just because I like books and writing – I have to actually enjoy what I’m doing day-today).

I won’t lie, with the ‘product’ in the publishing world being books, this is a big appeal – especially if it’s the sort of books I care a lot about! What also appeals is the fact that there’s an awful lot to learn (I love learning new things, I get bored if I’m not), the people are really cool and interesting and passionate aka my kinda crowd, and as cliched/vague as it sounds, something just feels right.  Hopefully this is an industry I can enjoy, learn in and grow in – both professional and as a person.

And perhaps, somewhere along the way, it may inspire me to push on with my own writing, and see my own creation(s!) come into fruition, and be shared with the world. One can only hope.

As long as I keep moving forward, enjoy the journey, and remember to be kind to myself and not so self-critical, that’ll be good enough for me.

✏ Written: Thursday, 5th April

A.B. Guy | articles | newsletter 💌

What about you? 🤷🏽‍♂️
What was the last book fair, author meet-up, or otherwise literary event that you went to? Share away – I *so* want to go along to more of these types of events now! 💙

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5 thoughts on “A *big* week (with a catch)

  1. You’ve inspired me! The only thing I did recently was sign up for newsletters from the James River Writers. I think I’ll take the plunge soon and join the organization – It’s only $40 per year!

    Liked by 2 people

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