New York City; The city that never sleeps; the big apple; money central. Whatever it is called, it is large and unlike anything I have ever experienced. I have always dreamed of coming to New York, being in the hustle and bustle of a city that is full of possibilities screamed my name. I wanted to be around other artists and find where writing could take me in this city. I knew that if I wanted to pursue being a writer, I needed to find the in’s and outs of the publishing world and find out the practical possibilities of this career. I expected everything under the sun, rejection, frustration, and preparing myself for the worst.
When I arrived to the big apple for the first time, the noises were overwhelming. I am from a rural town in Texas where my Mom and step-Father have 13 acres of land, and I can see a sky covered in stars every night. New York city is quite the opposite and finally stepping into this city I had to find things that rooted me into myself when the constant flow of people became too much. The friends I have made, a call from home, the pictures my mom sends me of the beautiful Texas sunsets, and the pictures of our crazy dogs that can’t get enough attention are the things that keep me in check. The city became tolerable especially when my room became the coziest place ever. Once the city was dealt with, I had to deal with the things i came here for: Internships.
For me personally, it took a LONG time to land a good internship. I had applied for two very intense, well known publishing houses, each were looking mostly at grad students, but I applied anyways. Since July 2019, I had sent in readers report after reader's report and until September, I had heard exceedingly little from them. In the end, I did not get either. But do not be discouraged my dear readers. I ended up working with a literary agent, a poet /publisher, a freelancer who has worked with what seems like everyone under the sun in the literary world, and I am about to have two more interviews with a publishing house as well as an agent who works with AMC network. My advisor, John Reed, decided to get the ball rolling the moment he had heard that our chances were low on Writers House and Inkwell management. He contacts me by email just about everyday making sure I am busy and that I am doing well within my jobs. The advisors here are definitely attentive to their students.
I have learned so much by being here for a month. I have learned not to acknowledge anyone you don’t want to talk too. Southern hospitality is so foreign that smiling at people can get you a dirty look. People will be all up in your bubble no matter what, so don’t get picky on the subway or in the city. It’s true when they say to avoid Times Square, that’s just a place full of scams. My Texans, don’t be fooled by the orange and white striped bags. IT’S NOT WHATABURGER. Be assertive people, use your voice to get out of the tight subway during rush hour. The subway systems are not that hard I promise. There are always signs that will tell you which one is going what way. If you need to go uptown, toward Manhattan you go. Downtown? Toward Brooklyn. Remember, the city is an island. If you get lost, pay attention to which way the numbers are decreasing and increasing. Lastly, make sure you branch out. Don’t just go to Starbucks. Find the coffee shops that are local, smaller, but still busy. Oh and make sure you visit Plymouth bagels in Brooklyn Heights on Pineapple street and Henry, grab a bagel and coffee. You won’t regret it. I promise.
There are so many things happening around here, and this is just the beginning. My friends do not let yourself get discouraged. There are so many connections to be made and could land you your dream job. Work hard and don’t give up.
Written by: Nina Regalado