On the eve of my departure to my first adventure living on my own as a writer, I confided in my journal that I still had my doubts but at least had a plan. (In the excerpt below, UPNE is University Press of New England, which wasn’t hiring at the time.)
… I stayed inside packing but found myself full of doubts about this excursion.
I did, however, come to what I hope will be a final undestanding of my immediate future:
Howard W. Fielding, “Journal, Volume II,” 5 January 1979
- I am essentially going back to school (a symbolic, as well as literal, meaning for my return to Hanover) to study writing and editing.
- I hope to enter a period of apprenticeship and training, perhaps with the combined newspaper and UPNE background.
- I shall then look for a market — either selling my writing or getting a job. the UPNE possibilities may be slim, but I could return to RD, or Prentice-Hall, or Little, Brown, or Hougton-Mifflin (where Barb found me contacts for the latter two) and sell my wares there — or set up shop on my own. There is a pattern.
Yes, there was a pattern of naive youthful optimism that starts off so many coming-of-age tales woven by writers for their characters and themselves. I was telling myself a story, but had no idea what the ending would be.