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Ainsley
Feb 17, 2011

Kaysette posted:

dang that’s a good post

e: not ainsley’s


Writers, publishers, editors - lend me your ears (and hopefully your advice)!

A bit of background about yours truly: In high school I was a prolific writer. Embarrassingly, yes, of fanfiction. Yes, my fanfiction.net page still exists, I looked it up the other day out of morbid curiosity. Even with the distance of many years, I can say that some of it is surprisingly pretty good - though I would still happily nuke the whole thing from orbit if I still had access to whatever email address I used back in the day. I wrote for my school paper and for the yearbook. I went to a liberal arts college, intending to graduate with an English Literature major and perhaps some fond memories of dabbling with the theater department. Instead, despite some studying abroad and writing for the college paper, I graduated with a major in Theater Design and five credits short of an English Lit minor. Whoops. I did the last of my schooling in pursuit of a MA in Costume Design (which, yes, I received), then have spent the rest of my years working in theater - the last seven of which on Broadway as part of the union with a pension and all that fanciness.

I took a few Gotham Writing workshops over the years, but I found that -while my ability to string words together in a reasonably coherent fashion remains- I've lost the drive for the actual act of writing. Much like my work in theatre, what I enjoy most is the basic framework already being in place and I come alongside and apply the spit polish and rearrange the deck chairs. My biology teacher in high school was an aspiring writer (at the age of 68) and I proofed a few of his novels. In grad school, the kids who'd graduated from art colleges and had never written an essay before in their lives were astounded when I introduced them to the concept of "paragraphs". I enjoy editing, and I think it's something that I could be good at. I just don't know where to even start, my life branched off from that direction so far back.

Living in New York during this time of COVID, I have literally nothing but time and an internet connection. I have unemployment checks coming in every week, my husband takes care of half of the dog's daily walks, and my sourdough starter is all grown up and independent. I'm fully on board with starting at the bottom; I can do any amount of pro bono edits and proofing to show what my work output looks like. I'm not great with science and mathematic papers, but I can slog through bad fantasy novels and however many shades of grey. Is it worth my time to enroll in an online college to get those final five credits and officially have a BA in English Lit? Or even add on however many credits I would need to turn it into a major? It feels silly to take a course in editing, but I'll do it if it's something that the industry actually respects (even within the Broadway community, my Masters diploma is hardly worth the paper it's printed on and that's saying a lot in this time of toilet paper hoarding). I've searched online for copy-writing work, but everything seems to be either craigslist style, "we'll edit your zine for $3, I guess" or slick, professional pages that are clearly just, "we'll write your [rich, white] child's college application essay for them". Which, hey, I'm not knocking.

Any advice or directions in any direction would be greatly appreciated. Stories (horror or otherwise) of getting started/working in the industry will be devoured whole. And if anyone needs sourdough starter, please let me know. Thanks!

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remigious
May 13, 2009

Destruction comes inevitably


Hell Gem

Make friends with writers and writing groups. You’ll kind of have to insinuate yourself into the community and let people get to know you. One good way just to get people to recognize your name is to write book reviews. Is there a particular genre you are interested in?

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