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READER QUESTION: HOW CAN I PURSUE MY DREAM CAREER AS JROCK JOURNALIST? HOW DID YOU PUBLISH A BOOK?

Scottish fold cat, cute scottish folds, foldy-eared kittens, purebred american breeder of coupari or scottish fold cats, solid cream flop-eared kitty Basil Farrow

Hello, my name is Nana, and I would first like to say that you are like my idol-seriously!
Now that’s out of the way (and I can quit blushing), I want to ask for your advice. I read your blog, La Carmina, enough to say I am a loyal fan, and I think you are by far one of the coolest journalists (I’m guessing you fit that category, but your work seems very all over the spectrum) to date. What do I do to get where you are?

I know, plenty of people may ask you this question- to the point it may seem a bit repetitive and maybe even cliche- but seriously, I need some help!

I graduated high school, two years early, and so far I’m on hold where school is concerned. I don’t really know where to begin, so I’ve been thinking a liberal arts school, and on the other hand- I really, really, am considering being a Jrock Journalist. Oh, and to top that- I’m trying to get into an Ivy school possibly. Which also has me freaking out!

Also, I wanted to ask – How did you go about getting your first book published? Did you get scouted by the mysterious agent who saw your scribbles on a napkin (a la J.K. Rowling)? Or did you send your stuff in? Did you have to supply a ton of rough drafts? And just how long does that take?! O_O

I know you are very busy, so I’ll like to thank-you for taking the time to read my letter, and hopefully you are able to respond.
-Nana V.-

Scottish fold cat, cute scottish folds, foldy-eared kittens, purebred american breeder of coupari or scottish fold cats, solid cream flop-eared kitty Basil Farrow

Dear Nana,
First, congratulations on your accomplishments! It’s no easy feat to graduate early from high school. And the fact that you are aiming high – considering future careers, looking at top universities – shows me you’re well on your way to success.

Over the years, I’ve learned to be less anxious about the future – because I’ve realized you can’t predict what it will look like until you get there. A job that sounds awesome today (such as blogging or J-rock journalism) may not even exist in five years. Think about it: not long ago, YouTube, Google, Craigslist and blogs had yet to be invented. Digital cameras were a novelty. The hottest web technologies were ICQ and Geocities, both of which are dead today.

It was impossible, even for Nostradamus, to predict that anyone could have a career like mine in 2009. I never imagined I’d have blog income, talk to editors via Skype, or live in Tokyo part-time. That I’d take digital photos for my books and create drawings on a computer program (Adobe Illustrator). That I’d be hosting a Goth cooking show on YouTube and exchanging messages with Courtney Love on Twitter.

So I wouldn’t worry about what the future will look like – it will reveal itself in time! Until then, you are taking exactly the right steps to be prepared. I encourage you to try to get into the best university possible; you’ll be around smart people and the classes will help you stay sharp. Be curious and get involved: if you’re intrigued by J-rock journalism, reach out to others, volunteer to write for a site, or start your own blog.

Stay busy and you will end up doing many cool gigs. Nobody knows exactly where you’ll end up – but I have faith that you will get there.

Scottish fold cat, cute scottish folds, foldy-eared kittens, purebred american breeder of coupari or scottish fold cats, solid cream flop-eared kitty Basil Farrow

As for how I got involved with book-writing… it was something of a fluke. I was helping a producer with a book proposal and on a whim, decided to try writing one for myself. I sent it to a small publisher and they ended up giving me a contract! So I continued down that path; after this blog took off, I signed with an awesome agent who pitched Cute Yummy Time and Crazy Wacky Theme Restaurants. The moral is: you’ll never know what could happen unless you take the plunge.

Writing a book was never a dream of mine as I was growing up, but somehow I ended up here — and I know I’m really lucky. To be honest, my story is an exceptional case; most aspiring authors go through rounds of rejected manuscripts and agent pitches. Once you’ve got the contract, the work begins: one or two years of it. There are multiple rounds of drafts; you should expect to revise almost everything you first submitted. That is the nature of the business, but I have no complaints – I consider it a great privilege to be able to write books for well-established publishers like Perigee/Penguin an Mark Batty/Random House.

Gambatte – keep aiming high and experimenting, and I have no doubt you’ll succeed! For more advice from La Carmina, check out the Reader Questions section. I welcome your questions; contact me and I’ll do my best to respond quickly.

fat Scottish fold cat, cute baby scottish folds, foldy-eared kittens, purebred american breeder of coupari or scottish fold cats, solid cream flop-eared kitty Basil Farrow, furry overweight lolcats, funny pictures of pet cats

Final advice: get a daily dose of cuteness. For more fuzzy kitty pictures, check out Basil Farrow’s Scottish Fold cats blog.

Song of the Day #230: Gurigula – I’ll never forget your love (saw this Visual Kei band perform yesterday at J-Summit, a rock bands event at Webster Hall NYC. Rock!)

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49 Comments

  1. Posted November 2, 2009 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    Rowling didn't get discovered because of her napkin scribbles, she sent her work to many publishers and actually got turned down a few times – those people must be sliiiiightly upset about that now…

    I like the reader questions; it's always cool to hear how succesful people get where they are! They probably don't get there by writing comments on blogs when they should be studying for exams.

    Courtney Love! How awesome! Mostly because she worked with Emilie Autumn and Emilie Autumn is like… a divine creature! <3

  2. Posted November 2, 2009 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    *poke* Basil is so chubby and cute xD
    My goals lean more towards photography and modeling. Most of it, I would like it to be involved in the J-Rock/Gothic Lolita/Harajuku community (like with all the fashions and stuff). Haha Maybe I'll model with you someday, Carmina ya~ lol

  3. Posted November 2, 2009 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    good answers! good to know :)

  4. Posted November 2, 2009 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    I'm a journalism major, this is my advice:

    Network, network, network, network. Get business cards to hand out so people can't forget your name and can get in touch with you. Get to know people, Jrock industry folks are people too, don't be timid.

    Any questions: Palerom@comcast.net

  5. Posted November 2, 2009 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Rowling didn’t get discovered because of her napkin scribbles, she sent her work to many publishers and actually got turned down a few times – those people must be sliiiiightly upset about that now…

    I like the reader questions; it’s always cool to hear how succesful people get where they are! They probably don’t get there by writing comments on blogs when they should be studying for exams.

    Courtney Love! How awesome! Mostly because she worked with Emilie Autumn and Emilie Autumn is like… a divine creature! <3

    • Posted November 2, 2009 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      Courtney loves Harajuku and Gothic Lolita fashion, which is how she found me! She sent me something like 60 Twitter direct messages… it was quite the trip!

      Ha, I think networking is important — reaching out can lead to a lot of great things!

      • Posted November 3, 2009 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

        Any collaborations with courtney in the works?

        • Posted November 4, 2009 at 7:48 am | Permalink

          hehehe… I’m about to blog about my interactions with Courtney. She’s quite the character! ;)

    • Posted November 12, 2009 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

      lol its Nana,
      and yes I know that she didn’t get picked like that- but the myth is always better then the truth for some reason xD

  6. Posted November 2, 2009 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    *poke* Basil is so chubby and cute xD
    My goals lean more towards photography and modeling. Most of it, I would like it to be involved in the J-Rock/Gothic Lolita/Harajuku community (like with all the fashions and stuff). Haha Maybe I’ll model with you someday, Carmina ya~ lol

    • Posted November 2, 2009 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      Basil is a snuggler!

      Keep at your goals – you can make them happen!

  7. Posted November 2, 2009 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    this is an excellent letter!
    it is wonderful you help people with such questions!

    Best wishes,
    kairu

  8. Posted November 2, 2009 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Basil is a snuggler!

    Keep at your goals – you can make them happen!

  9. Posted November 2, 2009 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    <3 glad you found it a helpful feature! I'll try to answer more questions soon.

  10. Posted November 2, 2009 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    <3 glad you found it a helpful feature! I'll try to answer more questions soon.

  11. Posted November 2, 2009 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Courtney loves Harajuku and Gothic Lolita fashion, which is how she found me! She sent me something like 60 Twitter direct messages… it was quite the trip!

    Ha, I think networking is important — reaching out can lead to a lot of great things!

  12. Posted November 2, 2009 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Nice blog, I like your web site. Keep blogging…

  13. Posted November 2, 2009 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    good answers! good to know :)

  14. Posted November 2, 2009 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    I’m a journalism major, this is my advice:

    Network, network, network, network. Get business cards to hand out so people can’t forget your name and can get in touch with you. Get to know people, Jrock industry folks are people too, don’t be timid.

    Any questions: Palerom@comcast.net

    • Posted November 12, 2009 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

      hey, thanks- more good advice!

  15. Posted November 2, 2009 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    this is an excellent letter!
    it is wonderful you help people with such questions!

    Best wishes,
    kairu

    • Posted November 2, 2009 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      <3 glad you found it a helpful feature! I'll try to answer more questions soon.

    • Posted November 2, 2009 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      <3 glad you found it a helpful feature! I'll try to answer more questions soon.

  16. Posted November 2, 2009 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    love the readers questions ^^
    great advice btw :)

  17. Posted November 2, 2009 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    love the readers questions ^^
    great advice btw :)

  18. Posted November 3, 2009 at 2:06 am | Permalink

    so cute…

  19. Posted November 3, 2009 at 2:07 am | Permalink

    Basil so cute! Great advice!

  20. Posted November 3, 2009 at 2:07 am | Permalink

    that is the cutest cat!

  21. Posted November 3, 2009 at 2:07 am | Permalink

    Great advise! Internet makes getting things done, and connections much easier, but it also makes 15 min of fame more like 15 sec :( Stay on top of your game, never give up, and keep an open mind to everything :D

  22. Posted November 3, 2009 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    so cute…

  23. Posted November 3, 2009 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Basil so cute! Great advice!

  24. Posted November 3, 2009 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    that is the cutest cat!

  25. Posted November 3, 2009 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Great advise! Internet makes getting things done, and connections much easier, but it also makes 15 min of fame more like 15 sec :( Stay on top of your game, never give up, and keep an open mind to everything :D

  26. Posted November 3, 2009 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Any collaborations with courtney in the works?

  27. Posted November 3, 2009 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    hehehe… I'm about to blog about my interactions with Courtney. She's quite the character! ;)

  28. Posted November 7, 2009 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    Hey! Just want to say your cat Basil Farrow is awsome! Me and my Dad have been loving for a scottish fold breeder for a couple of months and still no luck. But would you have any tips for me and my Dad when we do inventually get me? Like mainly feeding wise.

  29. Posted November 7, 2009 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Hey! Just want to say your cat Basil Farrow is awsome! Me and my Dad have been loving for a scottish fold breeder for a couple of months and still no luck. But would you have any tips for me and my Dad when we do inventually get me? Like mainly feeding wise.

  30. Posted November 7, 2009 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Absolutely! I did a blog post about what I feed Basil and what I use for his litter: https://www.lacarmina.com/blog/2009/09/what-are-

    hope that helps! If you ever have any questions, feel free to email or comment.

  31. Posted November 12, 2009 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    lol its Nana,
    and yes I know that she didn't get picked like that- but the myth is always better then the truth for some reason xD

  32. Posted November 12, 2009 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    hey, thanks- more good advice!

  33. Posted November 12, 2009 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Ah, love your response- sorry it took week to comment. But I've been working on some stuff, written wise- (and work), and so far so good. (lol, using a male pseudonym btw-)
    will keep you up-to-date :D

    thanx much,
    Nana V.

  34. Posted November 12, 2009 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Excellent! I'm so happy to hear you are plowing forth with your work — aim high! You can do it!

  35. Posted November 12, 2009 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    Ah, love your response- sorry it took week to comment. But I’ve been working on some stuff, written wise- (and work), and so far so good. (lol, using a male pseudonym btw-)
    will keep you up-to-date :D

    thanx much,
    Nana V.

    • Posted November 12, 2009 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

      Excellent! I’m so happy to hear you are plowing forth with your work — aim high! You can do it!

  36. Posted November 12, 2009 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    lol its Nana,
    and yes I know that she didn't get picked like that- but the myth is always better then the truth for some reason xD

  37. Posted November 12, 2009 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    hey, thanks- more good advice!

  38. Posted November 12, 2009 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    Ah, love your response- sorry it took week to comment. But I've been working on some stuff, written wise- (and work), and so far so good. (lol, using a male pseudonym btw-)
    will keep you up-to-date :D

    thanx much,
    Nana V.

  39. Posted November 12, 2009 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    Excellent! I'm so happy to hear you are plowing forth with your work — aim high! You can do it!

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