It has been a long time since I posted anything on here. I’m not usually one to be very personal on my blog because frankly I would find that boring (and I imagine others would too) but at the same time, I know that I don’t follow people for content only. So, here’s me making up for the radio silence for the past couple of months.
New Job and Publishing Updates
I started a new job, technically back in August but because my holiday came in between (more on that in a bit) this past month has felt like my first. I’m now officially the Editorial Assistant for 0-6 picture books at Macmillan Children’s Books. A few months ago, I was interviewing and with all the prep that comes with it, it meant that I didn’t post as regularly as I wanted to. I expected that. What I didn’t expect was how busy I’d be when working through my notice period. And then the holiday happened and suddenly two months had gone by without me posting anything.
I wrote about what I did as a Production Editor in a blog post here but the long and short of it, is that isn’t where my passion was and it was a role that I fell into. I have wanted to work in children’s publishing since I decided I wanted to work in publishing. And now I do! I can now proudly say that I work in children’s editorial. I love working on books that excite me and I have a genuine interest in. I had to go for an entry-level job to move across departments, but it was definitely worth it. Some advice I’ve taken to heart and would like to pass on; don’t think of your career as a ladder but as a jungle gym. It’s not always going to be a straightforward path to the top but that doesn’t mean you’re not moving forward. Also, I have to remind myself that I’m not the kind of face you’d traditionally see in publishing, especially not editorial and to be prouder of where I’ve got to on my own hard work.
Let’s talk holidays. I mentioned that I went on holiday; this was a two and half week trip through Vietnam with a friend. We backpacked from the north of the country to the south and I really enjoyed myself. Vietnam as a country is basically all national parks and it is an understatement telling you that it was beautiful. One of my travelling goals is to see as many UNESCO world heritage sites as possible and Vietnam has them in spades.
Backpacking and hostels is an interesting way to travel too because you meet lots of people along the way, you get tips for travel and hear loads of interesting stories. It was a whole new experience for me. I enjoyed it but it hasn’t convinced me to quit my job and travel till the money runs out. I feel like a lot of young people travel and those that do are particularly loud about it but ultimately, I liked travelling for a bit, but I really missed my own bed and the guarantee of a shower. Also, no surprise but as a bit of an asocial introvert, it was *tiring* meeting new people and having to befriend strangers as frequently as a I did. So I had a great time, I would love to do another long trip again but the backpacking and ‘travelling’ life is not for me.
Mini Review: Insight Guide to Vietnam
I want to talk a little bit about my travel guide. I wanted to buy a relatively small guide as I’d be lugging it around for two weeks and opted for an Insight Guide. This came through the post and was actually bigger and heavier than expected (whoops) but I really liked it. The biggest positive about this guide is that it includes a free app and e-book that you can download onto your phone (which works even if you buy it second hand like me).
It is full of gorgeous glossy images and one of the unique things about the guide was the ‘insight’ part. There are huge sections giving an insight on what Vietnam is actually like. I knew absolutely zero history on the country before going. This book however, had a great timeline outlining significant events, pages describing the culture, the religion and the food. I adore looking up places and getting a sense of what the place is going to be like before visiting. So I expected the food to be more flavourful in the south than the north (which it was), I had learned how to say hello and thank you and knew a bit about the history. I definitely think this guide gave me a richer experience of Vietnam.
What it didn’t have, in comparison to a Lonely Planet for example, are specific recommendations for restaurants or hotels but I so feel like those get outdated quite quickly. I would definitely recommend an Insight Guide for the future, especially if you want to get a real sense of what the country you’re travelling to is like before going.
I am really keen to get back into blogging again, now that I’m back and have settled into work. Realistically though I think I’ll start with once a week, because I started writing this blog post two weeks ago and it’s just been sitting in my drafts like a sad little egg. I also have literally hundreds of posts that I’ve missed out on reading since I fell out of the habit of blogging, so I’m definitely looking forward to catching up with those too (well… as many as I can!).