So in case you wondered what I vague tweeted about last week, I ended my internship.
It wasn’t that I wasn’t learning or didn’t enjoy it, don’t get me wrong. I was able to peek at some of the assistant role tasks that I hadn’t seen under Bree (she had a very different style of working). And the agency as a whole was GREAT! They have this really cool series of group chats that were the main reason I did this as long as I did. I highly recommend it for anyone wanting more insight into how publishing works!
But I was asked to commit to an in depth critique of a book per week. Given as most of the ones I was getting through it were around 80k, that’s about $1500 worth of work per month if I were charging her the Chimera rates. I weighed if what I was getting out of it was worth it, then looked at my workload for editing, and my dayjob ( which is overwhelmed, as we’ve had several staff get new jobs elsewhere, and we were already pushing our capacity limits! It’s been nonstop calls and frequent offerings of overtime to catch up on everything else.)
I said no way. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day, even if I sacrificed all but the most required things, and that way lies burnout. So I quit.
Interning has taught me a lot, but my editing clients come first, and while I have the dayjob, so does that.
Chimera’s going really well. I was pleasantly surprised when we figured out our year end numbers, we beat my goal for our first year. I want to get it to the point where I can edit full time, and that’s seeming like it may become a realistic option sometime next year. I have some wonderful repeat clients whose work I really enjoy reading and who are super responsive to feedback. It’s wonderful, and dropping the internship lets me really focus on growing our business, and on a few projects that were shoved aside for lack of hours.
Sometimes, you have to quit. If one method isn’t getting you where you want to go, try another. If that works better, quit the one that doesn’t work, even if it’s the more traditional approach. Ultimately, if you want something bad enough, you’ll find a way to get there. This entire journey so far has been about finding what I want.. and this feels like the right path forward. I discovered I really like when I have more control, rather than less. I like when I can say, “That timeline doesn’t work for me, X or Y would be better” and have it respected. There’s a wonderful feeling when the power dynamic is essentially equal, and that’s what I think is the best option in the long run. People coming together for the betterment of both, with everyone benefiting is key. We deliberately keep our prices on the low end (below the Editorial Freelancers Association suggested prices), because I believe, in the long run it’s better to help authors grow. As we all grow, prices will change, but loyalty and repeat clients are rewarded. I’d rather have 10 recurring clients than 50 one off clients. In the long run, I want to help the writers’ skills grow and get them positioned to be