2011 already?

After a long hiatus, I’m finally back. Primary and secondary school teachers in France are allowed several pretty amazing holidays throughout the school term, including a two-week break for Christmas — and so my partner, his family and I took the opportunity to spend Christmas in London, England, and ring in the New Year in Wales. Internet access (and my desire to be on the internet!), as you can imagine, was a little less available than usual, and so my work for PQ was mainly limited to reading guides and tip sheets for Fall 2011 (more on that in a future blog post). Of course, after this wonderful but exhausting trip, I came back to France with a nasty case of the flu and have spent this week lying in bed instead of teaching my students! Oh, the life of a French teacher …

In honour of the new year, I thought I might write a bit about my own goals and resolutions – publishing-style, of course – for the coming year. This is especially important since my internship at PQ is rapidly coming to a close and I’ll soon find myself back in the mob of unemployed young people with degrees in arts and sciences.

So, my first goal? Figure out what I’ll be doing in September 2011. This has been puzzling me ever since I knew I’d be in France this year. I’ve mentioned before my intention of applying to several different schools to give me some choices of what I’d like to do in September (when I may [or may not?] be back in Canada). It now being January, those applications are quickly coming to be due, and, assuming I receive offers from all of them, here are my options:

1. M.A. in Victorian English literature at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C.

2. Certificate in Book + Magazine Publishing at Centennial College in Toronto, Ontario.

3. Masters of Publishing at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, B.C.

4. Masters of Digital Publishing at Oxford Brookes University in Oxford, England.

5. … Or I could return to Toronto and look for a job there.

I’ve been having a really hard time making a decision (with the exception of UVic – unless I get some financial support from them, I don’t think I will be seeking an M.A. in English lit.). And making a decision isn’t getting any easier – I miss home, but I love the UK, but I want to live in Canada permanently when I’m older, but, but … The good news is that the applications are nearly all complete and submitted, so now I just have to make the pros and cons list. I have the feeling I won’t have this goal accomplished until just before the program acceptance deadline.

My second resolution? Keep up on Twitter! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Twitter is an amazing resource for learning about career possibilities and opportunities. But it’s only an amazing resource if you remember to check it and participate in the conversation. It’s been difficult doing so from France, partly because of the time difference and partly because of how busy I am. Although a lot of my work for PQ is, granted, done on the computer, I consider any time spent on Twitter (while I’m trying to do work for PQ) as time wasted and not contributing to my paycheque – and nowadays, any time I spend on the computer is almost always spent doing PQ work. In fact, most of the time, unless I specifically need internet access, I turn my wireless connection off while I’m working! I just can’t afford to get distracted when I have deadlines (particularly with the tip sheet deadline looming over my head right now). This is a big difference from university life when I wasn’t being paid for how much time I spent writing essays – and so I didn’t feel guilty when I wasn’t as efficient about it as I could be.

The problem now is that I feel as if I’ve fallen behind on industry news and on the friendships I’ve built up with others in publishing. Since publishing is all about connection – author to reader, and everyone in between – I’ve really got to step up my game (as they say).

Speaking of authors and readers, my third resolution is thankfully very simple and enjoyable: Read more. I want to read more expansively, too, and dive into genres that are unfamiliar to me (non-fiction, here I come). After four years of a university degree, and now half a year of balancing two jobs and travel, I’ve fallen behind on books! And magazines, and blogs, and …

I have, of course, more personal resolutions tucked away – go for fun walks a few times a week, help with cooking dinner more often, take a vitamin D supplement once a day, drink less booze (ahem) – but for now, those three resolutions are (I think) happy, reasonable publishing goals to achieve in the next year.

(I didn’t want to scare myself off with a ‘GET A JOB’ resolution, after all.)

Happy New Year, everyone!

About Caleigh

Intern at the Porcupine's Quill.
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The Porcupine's Quill would like to acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts for our publishing program. The financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF) is also gratefully acknowledged.