Friday, 13 May 2016


What do you want to be when you grow up? 
When you're a kid the question gets thrown around like a game, because nobody expects a serious answer. Kids want to be pirates and ballerinas, princes and princesses, vampires and fairies. I entertained the ballerina idea for a short time, but my most serious answer was that I wanted to be a vet. 

As a teenager, you're expected to have a better answer - but let's face it, most of us dream of the sorts of careers that few people ever achieve: actors and rock stars, big-shots with serious celebrity status. I wanted to be a rock star for a while (never mind that I could never play an instrument!), until finally getting serious about my writing in my late teens. But even then, "author" isn't something I said when the topic of a career came up. 

After high school, when everybody was expecting a serious answer, I started to panic. 

I had no idea what I wanted to be. I was going to be a photographer for a while there, but it turned out not to be for me. I liked shooting for myself rather than shooting to a brief set by others, and shooting concerts - while being amazing - isn't something that a lot of people get paid for these days. After that I considered music journalism for a very short period of time - after all, I had a small amount of experience there. But again, that isn't something a lot of people can make a career of. I started to go into panic mode again. 

Then one of my co-workers asked me if I'd ever considered a career in the publishing industry. 

I hadn't. I'd dreamed of being a published author, and I've longed to work in a book store, but that's as close as I ever got to considering the publishing industry as a place of employment. I was almost ashamed to admit it, and so that night I went home and I started researching the different jobs involved there. 

And now I'm about to start studying book editing. 

I can't believe I never considered this as a career path before. People have come to me for years asking if I'll edit their chapters or even novels, asking if I can give them pointers and check for inconsistencies in plot. I can't promise that I'm spectacular at it (yet), but I do enjoy it. And I'm hoping that with time I'll be able to make a decent career out of it. 

And for the first time in my life, it feels nice to have direction.

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