I haven’t been writing much lately because I’ve been acclimating to a new job. I now produce the membership magazine at the Infusion Nurses Society as an editorial and production coordinator, a full-time position with benefits. After over a decade, I’m no longer working in publishing. It was a good run in an industry that in general pays so little and demands so much.
Lots of news articles surfacing lately complaining about people who don’t want to return to low-paying jobs. I appreciate the few that mention viable solutions, like this one that describes places in Pittsburgh that raised their wages, then were bombarded with hundreds of applicants. Turns out most people aren’t shirking work, but rather want to work one job where they can earn enough to live off of. Who’d have thought?
I can still call myself “a writer in publishing,” I think, since I’ll do some freelance editing. Also, in a few years, when I have the funds, I’d like to run my own tiny press on the side. I’ll publish one book per year, alternating between a short story collection and a novel, and call it Polyphony Press, since I’ll only publish books that contain multiple points of view.
I reread the Paris Review interview with the novelist Toni Morrison today. When the interviewer asks how being an editor affected her as a writer, she replies, “It lessened my awe of the publishing industry”—and I thought, exactly. The publishing industry is not even close to infallible: for a myriad of reasons, there are so many deserving books falling through the cracks.
Today, I’ve specifically been thinking of How High the Moon by Jiří Klobouk, a novel I copyedited in December through a site called Reedsy, where individual writers can find vetted editors, and which was subsequently published, but hasn’t had any publicity. I really enjoyed the rich and little-known setting (1950s Czechoslovakia), the complex sentences, and its treatment of music. And the author is eighty-eight!
I’d love to eventually usher a few more excellent novels and short story collections out into the world. But for the next few years, I want to continue to focus on my own writing, and save some money, and see some friends because finally, at least in the United States, many of us are able to do that.
Next time, I’ll post another short story. I hope you’re all well!