Career / Publishing / Writing

Career Day

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(c) Christine Hyatt

This week has felt like a shift, the two tectonic plates of my life—Work and Writing—folding in on each other like so many Pacific Northwest overdue Big Ones. I can feel it in the air that’s just leaning toward spring here in Oregon, something ebbing up to the surface that’s remained unseen for the better part of a season. A network of roots and inroads, unseen and unknown until a tiny bit of evidence that yes, things are happening.

It’s also the first week I can remember where a series of independent people have referred to my lit work as my career. With a capital C. Like, oh hey! Look at that Career of yours! As most artists can attest, legitimacy is a gigantic hurdle, and not one that vanishes behind us. It took a year before I introduced myself to strangers as a “writer” instead of a “marketing person,” and that’s still not easy. As in today, when I was trying out a new dentist, and I felt weird telling them I was a writer as they processed my Marketing Person insurance and I fretted about getting back from my Marketing Person lunch. Which led to a sad conversation with crap stuck in my mouth about what our company actually does, and their insulting opening question: “So do you work at the front desk?”

However. I digress.

I have a job. But a career? Not so much. I’ve had:

  1. School stuff
  2. This writing stuff
  3. A suspicious degree of masochism
  4. The occasional gig that would cover rent at a pretty sweet cardboard box

But recently there have been a few opportunities that have made this whatever-it-is feel sort of real. Like even if my dentist doesn’t know that I have a long it’s-complicated answer to “what I do,” there are other people who know exactly what that answer is.

I wanted to share a few of the crazy but amazing things that have been shaping up this spring:

  1. I have a book, and it has a title!
    I’m sure we’ve been over the fact that I have a book coming out in Fall 2017 from Alternating Current Press, but it has a name: Eats of Eden: A Year of Food and Fiction. Also, it’s almost halfway finished. Also, I’m freaking out about never finishing it. Because writing a book feels like swimming in the ocean.
  2. I’m going to be at the APRIL Book Fair at Hugo House in Seattle!
    March 20th at Hugo House in Seattle, representing Alternating Current and all the good work they’re doing with independent publishing. There will be a whole gaggle of indie presses in attendance, so 206ers, stop by!
  3. I’m teaching a class on Skillshare!
    This is a random, fantastic story I’ll go into more detail after the creation process is complete, but I’m in the middle of putting together a class for Skillshare on writing pop culture personal essays. We’re going to be filming in a few weeks, and the class will be live for on-demand participation on March 31. WHAT!
  4. I’m moderating a panel on body image at AWP!
    With a whole bunch of extremely talented writers. Oh god, I need to finish all the prep for that. Christ.
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  5. I’m going to be reading at AWP!
    With even MORE super talented people. I need to pick out what I’m going to read. Cheesus Christ.
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  6. I have some essays coming out!
    I just had a piece called “RIP, Tibbyhime” about Microsoft deleting all of my emails in The Collapsar. I’ve also had “The Zelda Cut” about my favorite video game and hairstyles in Cartridge Lit, and in a few weeks I’ll have a new essay in The Rumpus.
  7. I got headshots!
    After limping by on selfie shots for 6 years, I was finally forced to up my game with professional headshots. My wickedly talented friend Christine Hyatt captured these lovely photos that are so much less “hi, please come find me on LinkedIn!” and so much more “hi I’m a writer thxbye!” And on days like this one, that is simply the victory.
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