Life Update

So… I didn’t know what to title this or if this was something people would care about because, let’s face it, if you’re here, you’re probably here for the books. But this life update does concern my books (and blogging) on some level so… stay with me on this.

As of next week, there will be no more staying for a couple of days here and there at Liz’s house when I have an interview. Because I’m moving. There. Properly. It’s actually happening. So now my hours of getting lost on the IKEA website finally have a purpose rather than just acting as mere aimless procrastination!

I do have a good reason for moving – I’ve landed myself a clerical/administration job at a university in the North West so I now need to move to Liverpool, it’s not merely a desire anymore, it’s a necessity. And let me just say, the relief of finally finding a job is also mixed with the unbridled joy that I don’t have to job hunt or attend the delightful Job Centre any more. I hope it stays that way for many months and potentially years to come.

With the job comes this necessary change of scenery as I currently live in the North East of England. I say currently live, I have lived in the same house (hell, in the same room, same box room of tiny proportions) for all my life, excluding my time spent at university in Lancaster. But even at university, though I started to feel at home in that city and campus, my permanent address was always still in Teesside, in my parents’ home. Now that’s changing and it’s kind of terrifying, but the good kind of terrifying, the terrifying where I know I’m nervous about this and will miss my family but I need this stepping outside of my comfort zone because it’s good for me in the long run, even if the comfort zone is still only like 3 hours away by train.

I never thought I was the city kind of girl, ever. I come from a place that isn’t a large town by any means – it only takes a 15 minute walk to get to the town centre and that consists of about 30 shops, if that. So moving to Liverpool is an adjustment, to say the least. But every time I’ve visited Liverpool, I’ve felt comfortable, like I could maybe possibly see myself living there somehow. I don’t know how much of that comes from knowing someone who hails from there but the feeling remains regardless.

Speaking of which, the ever kind Liz is letting me take up her off of moving into her house with her. (If you don’t know Liz yet, go check out her blog!) We’ve never actually lived together in our time at university but we did spend an interesting few days when she temporarily moved into the house I lived in after our respective housemates had vacated the premises ahead of us. We just watched a lot of tennis, if I recall correctly, and made it our noble (and foolhardy) mission to use up all the remaining food – it was so good there’s photographic proof of the faji-ttos and Terry’s chocolate orange topped flapjacks served with Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream, naturally. I foresee many food collaborations in our future. I’m also like 98% sure we won’t kill each other when we actually do live together.

‘Wait, so how does this concern your books?’ I hear you say. Well, good question. My books will be carefully packed and moving with me, hopefully onto some proper bookshelves. At some point. Because the thought of having to wait two weeks for my dad to bring them over when he does the bulk of my move is horrifying to any book lover, myself included. Now, realistically, I know from previous experience that even if I take 30 of my most precious books with me, I probably won’t read them all, if any. I’ll be too busy internally panicking about my new job to read. But having my books nearby is an odd sort of comfort blanket, so I’m bound to at least take a few over on my initial move which will be happening in this upcoming week.

Speaking of the week, whilst I will endeavour to have something queued up for the blog, in reality, I’ll probably forget and/or be too busy frantically packing my things because I never learn and will leave it until the last minute to do so. See, I told you I’d eventually bring this blog post back around to my books (and blogging!). So, I suppose this is just my way of saying hopefully by this time next week I will be semi-settled in Liverpool for the foreseeable future. Wow, that feels weird to type. Not a bad weird, by any means. I’m nervous and part of me still can’t quite grasp it’s happening but it is and I’m excited.

I’ll see you on the other side, folks!


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22 thoughts on “Life Update

  1. Heather 21/09/2016 / 02:08

    Congratulations on the job AND the big move. That’s such exciting news!

    • Emma 22/09/2016 / 17:53

      Thank you! :)

  2. amber @ onlytruemagic 19/09/2016 / 12:27

    Congratulations on all of these great milestones! It sounds like you’re absolutely going to flourish; it’s so exciting! I, too, recently made a major move that necessitated a major change of pace, but it’s been wonderful so far. If you ever need advice on getting adjusted, please do not hesitate to reach out!

    Best of luck with this new chapter!

    • Emma 22/09/2016 / 17:54

      Thank you! :)

  3. Liz Whitehouse 19/09/2016 / 07:38

    I can’t wait. This is going to be amazing. The only fears I have is that the house may be over-taken by books, DVDs and crimes against cooking when we really get going.

    Who am I kidding, those aren’t fears at all!

    I shall see you for the big event tomorrow

    • Emma 19/09/2016 / 11:11

      I am glad you’re finally realising how likely this scenario might be once I move in. I apologise in advance. :P

      That makes it sound so real!

  4. mudandstars 19/09/2016 / 07:34

    Congratulations on your new job! And hope the move goes well – Liverpool is a lovely city, hope you’ll feel at home there :) I know exactly what you mean about wanting your books with you as a comfort blanket – I’m moving from a little town to a big city in January (London, in my case), and it’s a little daunting, but having my books with me will be comforting, even if I am too busy job hunting to read them to start with :)

    • Emma 19/09/2016 / 11:13

      Thank you! I’ve always felt welcomed when I’ve visited so I’m sure me and the city will get along. ;)

      Yikes, that is a big move! I know eventually I’ll have to try to move to London if I want to work in the industry I want to be in eventually (publishing, no surprises there) but it’s such a daunting idea. I wish you the best of luck with your move too! :)

      • mudandstars 19/09/2016 / 13:58

        Yes, it’s a really friendly city isn’t it? Hope you’ll be really happy there :) Yes it is a big move! Scary but I am excited too, as I’ll be moving in with my boyfriend, after several years of us being in different places! There are quite a lot of publishing houses in Oxford (one of which I currently work at), if you wanted a slighly less daunting entrance into the publishing world :)

      • Emma 22/09/2016 / 17:51

        That’s so exciting – best of luck to you and your boyrfriend in the future. :)

        Ooo where do you work at, if you don’t mind me asking? Funnily enough, I have a friend living in Oxford, I visited her recently and we did a tour of OUP museum and what not. Oxford is a beautiful place and, again, if it wasn’t for scary financial constraints, I would definitely throw my all into moving there in the future.

      • mudandstars 25/09/2016 / 11:48

        Thank you! :) Ooh that’s cool – what was the museum like? And what else did you get up to while you were in Oxford? OUP is in fact where I work – but I’ve never been round the museum, despite it being in the same building! I work in the marketing department for Oxford Dictionaries/the OED.

      • Emma 26/09/2016 / 13:47

        It was really interesting! It’s good to get a real hands-on look at the printing history in Oxford and how OUP played a part in this process.

        I saw a lot of things but highlights were Shakespeare in the Bodleian quad for me. :P We also popped down to London for YALC whilst I was there which was really fun.

        Ooo that’s so exciting! Do you mind me asking how it was you got into OUP? I’m hitting a bit of a brick wall at the moment in terms of moving into the publishing industry. It’s where I eventually would like to be but geography is problematic for me (I’m based in North West atm) so any advice/guidance on what I can do to help my chances would be greatly appreciated. :)

      • mudandstars 01/10/2016 / 22:40

        Ooh fantastic – which Shakespeare play did you see? And I went to YALC too, it was so much fun. Were you there for the whole weekend? What was your favourite part? I got into OUP actually via temping. I signed on with a temp agency in my town that worked with a few publishers, and I did a couple of temp jobs there. In my second temp job, I stayed for 10 months, and then applied for a permanent position in that team when it came up. I started in sales, but it wasn’t really what I wanted to do. I stayed there for 2 years, and then applied for the job in marketing when it came up. Temping is a really good way in, I’d say, or getting any kind of admin job at a publisher, and then moving across to the specific area you’re most interested in, once you’ve had some experience at the company. But if there are no publishers near you geographically, it might be worth trying to find some freelance work that you can do from home alongside your job, like proofreading, which looks good on your CV for publishing, and may also be a way in when you come to apply for those kinds of jobs. :) I’m hopefully going to be doing some proofreading work for a publisher in Cambridge next month.

      • Emma 02/10/2016 / 16:23

        We saw the touring production of Two Gentlemen of Verona – it was SO much fun and I loved it. I knew nothing about the play going into it and it was such a good time that I’m going to catch it again when it finishes up its tour here in Liverpool this month. :)

        I was only there on Friday but I LOVED it. For me, I was all about the fantasy panels – hearing V.E. Schwab, Samantha Shannon, and Ben Aaronovitch talk about writing fantasy London was my highlight for sure. Next year I hope to make it to the whole weekend for sure! Which panels did you attend? Were you there all weekend?

        Aaah I see, yes, that is a more viable sort of route into that industry for me. Thank you for sharing your history, it really helps. I did hear some advice from publishing bods once that getting office experience is a good skill to build up if you can’t do internships etc. so that’s what I’m doing at the moment. I work in an administration role in a university which, I know, isn’t publishing but it’s also teaching me a lot about the more everyday tasks of being part of an office so that must come in handy in the long run! And I would actually love to do proofreading work on the side (I seem to be the go-to editor for most of my friends’ applications and CVs these days anyway haha) but I’m unsure how to approach it. Getting a recognised qualification in it would possibly be the first step I should tackle…

        That sounds like a great opportunity – I hope you enjoy the work. :) Thanks once again, it’s really helpful advice!

      • mudandstars 10/10/2016 / 18:35

        Ooh that sounds fantastic! Yes the fantasy panels were my favourite too. I was there for the whole weekend, and I managed to go to most things, but I think my favourites were definitely both of V.E. Schwab’s panels, the friendship in YA panel, and Patrick Ness. I managed to meet V.E.Schwab and Sophie Kinsella too which was brilliant :) And you’re very welcome – I hope the advice helped in some way. And you’re right about the admin/office experience – that’s exactly what you need to get into an entry level publishing job. I think it’s why I struggled to get a job directly after uni, because I didn’t have any office experience. I think you’re going the right way, and the book-blogging will definitely help too! And with the proofreading – I’m still sorting the details out, but once I’ve started, I could put you in touch with the publisher – apparently they are really in need of more proofreaders. My friend passed on my details to them, and they emailed back a few days later. They’re going to send me a test piece, but they didn’t ask for anything else, so hopefully it will be quite straightforward getting started. And ahh getting a qualification sounds like a really good idea – I hadn’t thought about that, but that would be a great thing to put on your CV for publishing. :)

      • Emma 14/10/2016 / 11:26

        Ooh that sounds so lovely – I definitely want to try be there for the whole weekend next year, provided I can get the Friday off work. That’s so great you got to meet people you wanted to – I ended up getting VE Schwab and Samantha Shannon to sign my books (thank goodness after I’d took 2 hardbacks and 4 paperbacks along for this very reason!). When I was waiting in Victoria’s signing line (it was huuuuge), Patrick Ness briefly interrupted her line to meet her and her to meet him and get a book signed. It was just a wonderful moment of realising authors fangirl over each other too! :P

        Office experience is strangely underrated, I have to say – it’s weird that none of my careers advisers at university ever advocated that route but once I was out in the big wide world, I realised I needed the experience desperately. For now I’m just working away at that and learning some useful data manipulation and more general administration skills, hopefully I can twist this for my own purposes on entry-level job applications.

        Oooh if you could put me in touch with the publisher re: proofreading, I would be so incredibly grateful! Contacts are where I struggle, so any are greatly appreciated, since I really do want to take any opportunities that come my way. I think it would probably be good to have a recognised proof-reading qualification if editing is the end goal, but once again time and money is tricky. Mind you, I’m sure practice will help with that, and then the actual certification can come later. :P

      • mudandstars 19/10/2016 / 19:43

        Haha yes VE Schwab’s queue was crazy – I actually had to drop out of it on the Friday, because I had a migraine, and had to go home. But luckily I bumped into her wandering around the next day, so still got to meet her :) I still really need to read Samantha Shannon’s books – I’ve heard good things about them. And that’s so cute that Patrick Ness and VE Schwab were fangirling over each other :) I’d have loved to meet Patrick Ness, but his was another long queue that my migraine couldn’t withstand haha. Maybe next year…
        I completely agree – I feel like university career advisers should be doing more to highlight the importance of experience, because it really helps so much. I applied for lots of jobs after leaving university, but didn’t get anywhere until I’d done some office temping. I think the admin and data skills will be really helpful with the publishing career path!
        And about the proofreading – once I’ve done the test piece, and started with them properly (provided I don’t screw up the test piece haha) then I will definitely pass on your details. If you want to email them to me or something, my email address is Jessica.a.strachan@gmail.com :)

      • Emma 24/10/2016 / 12:04

        Yikes, that sounds awful, I hope you felt better once you’d ducked out of the queue! Yeah the queue did become a little ridiculous – I don’t think even the staff anticipated quite that much attention though. Everyone seemed in good spirits thankfully, it just must have been gruelling for all involved. That’s so cool that you managed to bump into her though – I’m glad you still got to meet her.

        I adore Samantha Shannon’s books and she was super nice and had some really useful writing advice, actually, about fantasy worlds. I would definitely recommend The Bone Season.

        Exactly – never underestimate the usefulness of literally just understanding how offices have procedures and protocols and how to set up systems and crunch data etc. etc. I’m starting to see how transferable those kind of “transferable skills” actually are and I really wish university had put more of that kind of advice to all us English students!

        Passing on my details would be great, if you could and wouldn’t mind; I would really appreciate it! I’ll send you a quick email now so you have my email address to pass on. Thank you once again. :)

      • mudandstars 25/10/2016 / 12:34

        Ooh that sounds awesome, what advice did Samantha Shannon give about writing? Are you working on something at the moment? :) I’m hoping to do National Novel Writing Month in November. And thanks for sending over your details, I will pass them on as soon as I can when my position with the publisher is confirmed. It might be a couple of weeks, as I’m still working on the test piece, and am going on holiday for the rest of this week, but I will email or comment to let you know when I have passed them on :)

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