Happy third birthday, Neon Literary!
Neon is now roughly the same age as Elmo, which tracks with the company's 2022 vibe: gregarious, tender, kind, and growing. Here's the most useful career-management stuff I've learned this year.
“There’s just something about three-year-olds,” a children’s party entertainer named The Great Zucchini said to me years ago, back when my first child was still a baby. “Two-year-olds, one-year-olds—when I do my act, they don’t really get it. But once they turn three, oh man. They go bananas.”
Now that I’ve spent considerable time around three-year-olds myself—multiple children and one company—I agree with him: there is just something about kids this age. My literal and figurative babies have all now passed the three-year-mark, and all of them experienced profound growth there.
Regardless of what SCOTUS might say, I don’t think companies are people.
My children are people, and spoiler alert, I do love them a teensy bit more than my company. EVEN THO I LOVE THIS COMPANY A LOT.
Nevertheless, the fact remains: there’s surprising overlap between rearing a three-year-old human and rearing a three-year-old creative company.
Similar qualities make each one special, and similarly, the experience of caring for each is a rock tumbler for the soul, a constant polishing-by-agitation.
My own three-year-olds have improved me immeasurably as an agent and person. I suspect three-year-olds could do the same for you, only with “author” or “editor” subbed in for “agent” as applicable.
I’ll walk you through my thinking on this in a moment, post-paywall. But first, a quick announcement:
Next week’s “Glow” will be a subscriber Q and A.
We haven’t done a Q and A a while. Send me questions you have related to book publishing and/or life, and if I have the slightest clue (or access to someone who does), I’ll answer them.
Please email your question(s) to email@example.com no later than December 21—a week from today—with the subject line “Glow question.” I’ll default to identifying people by first initial only unless you request otherwise.
After that, I’m going to take Christmas week off and publish a rerun column from the Deep Archives. Expect the new content to come back in January.
OK, back to what toddlers can teach you about publishing career success.