About this series: I revisited my journals from my first year as a freelance writer and found they told a story of their own. In this series I get the rare opportunity to give myself and other writers career advice with nearly 50 years of hindsight. Enjoy!
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:
- 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.
5 January 1979
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.