Publishing Industry Insight

The year is 2021,
March is already halfway gone
and here I am-
completely stumped.

For those of you who are reading this, and don’t know me personally, I am an absolute dreamer- I have always been.
But dreaming, sometimes, can be exhausting.

The world has always seemed like one big adventure just awaiting my arrival, but as the years go by I start to realize that maybe the adventure is in the waiting. And as poetic as that might seem, that’s not what I want my life to be. I want to write and travel and be emerged in every emotion that can possibly be conjured by experiencing things beyond my wildest dreams, by running into strangers, and laughing underneath a strange effervescent sky.

But apart from these wild wants and daydreams I also have goals.

I used to have a set 2, 5 and 10 year plan that joined into my ultimate life plan. I want to write, I want to inspire, I want to be someone that comes into your life and it will feel like sunshine has passed through your skies. I wanted to have an impact, a positive one.

Then when I was 20 I went to the Writer’s Digest Conference in New York, this was an absolute lifelong dream of mine. While I was there, exhilarated to be in a city that is famous for its skyline, energetic streets and determined dreamers I felt that I was finally on the verge of taking that first big step in the right direction.
I took a step alright, but it didn’t seem to lead me anywhere. I was at a conference with some of the most influential voices, and inspiring authors and it dawned on me that I did not want to be a novelist, I wanted to be the person involved in the process. I wanted to meet the people with all these words in their hands and I wanted to help them shape their words into worlds worth telling about.
So there I stood, having just pitched my novella to a room full of agents and having this shift in my mindset happen simultaneously, and I decided to start asking different questions.

How did you start?
Where did you begin?
How can I do what you do?

And you know what? Not a single one of them could give me an answer.
There was no “Well get your degree in this” or “Start out as that”, I was mostly met with silence and for words to be at a loss when simple questions are asked, it makes you wonder.

Since then I have started towards my Bachelor’s degree in creative writing, and yet I have not been able to uncover where I go from here.
I am a South African, who worked in the hospitality industry in the USA for over 4 years, I recently moved to Abu Dhabi to keep the hopes of a bright future alive- but here I am no closer to being involved in the publishing industry five years later-
an industry that seems to be more forlorn to people than I ever realized.

And I want to know, how do I approach this dream?

Every internship opportunity at publishing houses require you to be eligible to work in that country, and even now I have come across some amazing virtual internship programs and yet, I am not eligible. It breaks my heart, because how do you chase a dream that seems to forever be out of reach?

If you are currently in the publishing industry
and miraculously come across this I ask that you take the time to reply,
because I’ve never needed the right words more.
Every little bit of information helps:
Conferences to attend,
Fellowships to know about,
A beginner’s guide to understanding.

Thank you writing community,
I look forward to hearing from you!

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