Sunday, April 24, 2011

Laid Off Part II

This time I...

...will finish the second draft of my novel.

...will write some more ghost stories.

...will submit stuff for publication over and over and over again, knowing full well it will probably all be rejected but knowing I'll never know unless I try.

...will not take the first job that comes along (especially when those who know both me and the company warn me that I won't be happy).

...will not let the pull of a steady second income be more important than a rewarding life.

...will do more volunteer work in new, unexplored areas that might lead to a more rewarding life.

...will write more letters (hope all my sadly forgotten pen pals are reading this).

...will try to come to grips with the fact that the good old days of publishing, when brilliant people who were readers and writers themselves actually ran the companies, are gone.

...will admit that the likes of Eudora Welty, William Faulkner, and Wallace Stegner would probably never be published in today's world, and I will think hard about how to start a revolution to turn that around, because I would hate it if 100 years from now, the only books left to represent the early 21st-century are by Tom Clancy, Mary Higgins Clark, and Danielle Steel.

...will do all the things I'm always saying I will do and never have time, like exploring hiking trails in Pennsylvania, visiting museums in Philadelphia, going to Pittsburgh, etc.

...will read more books (of course!).

...will watch more movies.

...will cook and bake more.

Sounds like it's going to be a pretty good life, huh? Please keep reminding me of that for the days when it's not Easter, I'm not surrounded by loving friends and family members, the sun isn't shining, and the flowers aren't blossoming.





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14 comments:

Dorothy W. said...

It sounds like an excellent life, and I love your plans! I fully expect to see more of you in Connecticut as well :) Sorry about the lay-off, though. Stupid, stupid publishing industry.

knitseashore said...

It is an awesome first step that you've made a list of the things you want to accomplish; if you don't mind a bit of advice, I want to encourage you to schedule time for the things you want to do. Despite not working, time can slip away from you very easily, when *others find out* that you are not working, and feel more free to ask you to take on more volunteer work!

I speak from personal experience with my animal shelter duties; I find I write more for them than I do for myself, and I am trying very hard to change that. :)

Charlotte said...

I'm really sorry to hear that it's happened again, but I think your plans sound great. If you have space for another pen-pal, please include me - and I still owe you a book! Apologies that that's taken forever - will post this week.

Carrie#K said...

Sounds perfect! Except for the part where it wasn't your choice and you're making the best of it. Ah, change. It always is so annoying and yet it's the only constant.

OTOH, you DID help David Sedaris. Where would he be without you?

Smithereens said...

Sorry to hear about the lay-off. Something very un-European to take someone on board and let it go so soon, I'm always stunned by these brutal decisions. As a part of the pen-pal crowd (who doesn't write as many letters as I wish to), I can't help but rejoice about this new free time of yours, and look forward to your fantastic ghost stories!

litlove said...

The publishing industry is in a particularly bad way at the moment - paranoid, flighty, capricious, short-termist. Goodness only knows what will happen to it. I completely agree that we will end up with a world full of Mary Higgins Clarke and Danielle Steele (even death won't save us - they will wheel in a ghostwriter and just pretend those authors are immortal) unless something drastic happens. Thinking your way around this, and writing your own wonderful fiction will be fine and noble ways to spend your time now, Emily. And MUCH better than working in a hysterical environment.

Emily Barton said...

Thank you to all of you for your kind words.

Dorr, yes. I'm off to California end of this week, and then I think I need to plan my first visit to Connecticut (making sure you're back from Ireland and England, of course).

Ms. Knits, sound advice, and one of the reasons I'm a little nervous to tell too many people around here yet (although I put it up on FB, so I can't be TOO nervous!).

Charlotte, I would LOVE to be your pen pal (if you don't mind a pen pal who is very inconsistent). Thank you for offering. Just send me your new address.

Carrie, funny, just the other day I was thinking, "Well, they laid me off, but *I* gave David Sedaris editorial advice. What have they ever done?"

Smithereens, expect a postcard from CA, and a real letter soon (I started one to you about a month ago, but I never finished it).

Litlove, oh yes, Nothing could be better than not working in a hysterical environment.

Danny said...

Your plans sound fantastic. I have another low-stress, easy idea: you should start your own publishing company and recreate those good old days! There are lots of editors (myself included) who would love to work for you. We can have our headquarters in your church! Paradise Publishing?

Emily Barton said...

Danny, I thought (you know, since you and I will have nothing better to do and since you need a low-stress, easy idea, too) we could spend this whole weekend planning how we will jointly start that publishing business. (I like Paradise Publishing. It would be worth the stress and headaches just to see such a thing trademarked, wouldn't it?).

Susan said...

Emily, I can't believe that you've been laid off again! Even if it wasn't fully satisfactory, it's still a blow (I know, I've had my share too) to be laid off. Oh, you know, I'd say: take this summer and have fun. Your list is good, and secretly I wish I were making one like it....if only we had a second income or won the lottery.....speaking as a very bad pen pal who still hasn't returned the first letter you wrote, I think for me I can say, my plans are to write to you a letter! lol

For rainy days, email me (love paper letters, emails are for need responses sooner.....) :-) You're not alone.

Stefanie said...

Oh Em, I'm so sorry! On the bright side though you have great plans that make me envious. I look forward to hearing about your novel being accepted for publication :)

Thomas at My Porch said...

Thanks to the Tea Party Republicans I am probably on my way to being laid off June 1st. So much for creating jobs. Still, there will be an upside if it happens...

Courtney said...

coming late to the game on this post obviously - sorry to hear about the lay off but totally in love with your list - it sounds like a beautiful life will be made even more so with this...

Nerds said...

Awful, awful industries driven by money - so sorry your job got removed. On the plus side you've made a list that will move you beyond the troll net and watch day time tv trap everyone gets sucked into.