Thursday, May 07, 2009

New York, New York?

When was the last time you considered moving to another city?

Faithful readers know I'm at a writing crossroads, wondering if I should continue to pursue publication. Wondering if it's still a question of the right manuscript on the right desk at the right time, or if I should find another way to stay involved with writing. I've often thought about working as an editor at a publishing house or getting a job at a literary agency. I subscribe to the Publisher's Lunch e-newlestter and have looked wistfully at some of the jobs posted. I've never applied for any...because almost all of these jobs are in New York.

Meanwhile, authors I critique for can't say enough great things about how helpful my comments multi-published, award-winning author recently told her editor that I make her books much better. Several authors suggest ad nauseum that I'd be a great literary agent because of my legal background, years of award-winning sales and negotiation experience and knowledge of writing and romance publishing. Could I be a better editor or agent than an author? Hmmm.

The Pros:
--I've lived in Chicago almost all of my life. Maybe it's time for a change.
--I really enjoy editing/critiquing, finding problem areas and offering suggested fixes. The list of published authors I critique for has grown. Maybe it's time to get paid (instead of getting return critiques) for what I do.
--I have friends in the NYC area, so I wouldn't be completely alone.
--The life of a freelancer has upsides, but so does getting a regular paycheck and paid vacation days. I miss those.

The Cons:
--I've visited NYC many times and prefer Chicago, which is what has stopped me from moving ahead (pun intended) with this idea before. NYC is just that much more congested and expensive.
They have Broadway and the Met, but we have fabulous theatre and opera, and these days some musicals and plays headed for Broadway start here (including August: Osage County, and recently Brian Dennehey in Desire Under the Elms. Manhattan is great, but I love Lincoln Park. We don't, however, have anything like The Cloisters!
--Starting over is scary, stressful and a lot of work. It gets harder the older you get because you've put down roots and have established yourself in various communities.
--Moving is a pain, with all the packing and unpacking, the decisions and arrangements to make...would I sell or rent my condo, furnished or unfurnished? What to do with my car and accumulated stuff?
--Here's the biggie: I don't know if I'd enjoy selling/promoting/working on others' books full time instead of my own.

First step: I'm going to NYC for a few days with a friend and have set up informational interviews. I'll get to spend most of a day working with an editor at a major publisher! And, of course, I'll catch a couple of shows.

Passing fancy or probable plan? Stay tuned...


Gina Black said...

Ruth--good luck with this. I bet you'd be a killer agent. If you wanted to be. :)

The (Mis)Adventures of a Single City Chick said...

Wow, Ruth, that is a huge decision to make! Have a great trip to NY and I hope it helps you in your choices. BTW, will you be in Washington DC for National this year?

Eileen said...

Intriguing. Keep us posted.