A Still Small Voice {and a Plan}

April 03, 2012

By Katrice

I think at some point in every career writer's life, we think we will or should reside in NYC. I don't know where I got this idea, outside of knowing a little about the publishing industry, but I've thought it since I was about 11 and I decided I wanted to one day be an editor. 

In 2006, I had begun the process of applying with Teach for America in New York and was considering moving to Queens as it seemed that I'd actually be offered a position. Foremost in my mind was that I would finally be in the city ... not the job I was pursuing. I was literally driven by the premise of being in NYC, the place I believed essential to my rise as a journalist. I was convinced that for a dramatic opportunity, I'd need a dramatic jump. And what is more fantastic a jump than moving to NYC? In my mind, it was a sign of commitment to my dreams. It was a move of boldness and a leap of faith. 
And then like a switch being clicked on, the entire idea terrified me. The romaniticization of being a "starving artist" was one thing. The reality of it, another.

I had only moved to Philadelphia four months earlier and felt it a comfortable challenge because at least I had a cousin there for support as I tried to break into the magazine industry.  

I was within a train ride of the NYC and so everything seemed as if it would inevitably work out {the key word being inevitably. I'm not the "inevitable" type anymore}. I should also mention that at this point, four months into living in Philly, I hadn't received one bite from any of the magazines or media outlets to which I had applied daily for editorial assistant positions. But, I was determined that I was not going back home to Ohio. I literally told everyone who asked as I was preparing to leave {and after I was gone} that if it didn't work out in Philadelphia, I'd try another city. I meant that. 
And now I was pursuing a job that had nothing to do with my dream career with no plan in place. 

That's the interesting thing about my move out of Ohio six years ago. I learned the essence of the scripture that says "faith without works is dead." When I decided to relocate, I felt confident that it was the right time and that I was prepared. I'm a spiritual woman, so I had been praying about it. I'm hard working, so I believed my resume pretty strong. And mentally, I was clamoring for a change. But, I had put no strategy in place. When it was time for Plan B, I was starting from nothing; Plan B was actually Plan A. 

After rethinking New York, a few conversations with my aunt and my brother, who were both already in Atlanta, led me to start researching publications in the Southeast ... something I should have done before even considering quitting my job and moving {in every sense of the word} on faith alone. It helps when your support system is resourceful and patient, but preparation on your part is key. With just a little digging, I found a hearty publishing industry in Atlanta. I couldn't believe the number of magazines within metro Atlanta alone. Moreover, I was actually a bit embarrassed that I didn't know. I hadn't even given myself the luxury of options. 

Options are everything. 

Within a week of realizing the type of opportunity for journalists in Atlanta, I had packed my car and driven from Pennsylvania to Georgia. That was May 2006, which seems like only yesterday. And sometimes, I wonder what may have happened had I actually moved to New York and not Atlanta. But, I don't regret that still small voice that stopped me in my tracks. Had it not been for that moment of clarity, I may never have carried on in the right direction. I'm still a believer in praying for what I desire and expecting it to come to pass. Now, however, I don't just pray for miracles, I prepare for them. 

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  1. I LOVE this! And I love that you weren't afraid to take a step back and reassess your plan. This is so touching to me because I, like you, decided that New York is the place for me. But I haven't had any job leads pan out there and for whatever reason, I just expect my plan to click into place once I get there.

    Once again, bookmarking this post for future inspiration. Thank you for sharing. Sometimes I forget there isn't one set path to success.

  2. I love your honesty about your life! Life sure has a way of taking you down unexpected roads! Making mental notes!

  3. LOVE this post! U are always challenging me to think outside of the box, motivated to go beyond my reach & envisioning the success in sight. I love u friend!

  4. your voice is moving and i really enjoyed going along for that journey. way glad you found a place to bloom



  5. "I hadn't even given myself the luxury of options." <-- so much is rolled up into this line. Fantastic post, Katrice.

  6. Yes! I think we all forget to prepare for miracles sometimes while we pray for them. Thanks for sharing this! It's so important to a plan and options. Options allow us to remember that we are valuable, but they are also very humbling! Love this.

    XO Kelley

  7. What a wonderful post. We are so much alike in aspiration it's crazy. In January of 2006 I was approached about going to New York to intern with Seventeen magazine in the fashion department; an absolute dream. To my dismay I was only around 18 so my parents shot down the idea immediately. I always find myself wondering where I would be by now had I went to NYC when I had such a golden opportunity. So at this moment, I continue to dream, strive, and work to trust God as he works on my behalf to create a life I could never imagine. Thanks for sharing this post. : )

    Vonae Deyshawn

  8. Katrice,
    Wow! Honestly, this sounds like story of my life!!! For as long as I could remember, I've dreamed of living in New York, being amongst fellow writers and creatives, living the Sex and the City lifestyle. As an English major living in FL, publications are few and far between. After many internships at said FL magazines and no jobs after, I naturally thought, "Ok, next step is NYC." I was a realist in the sense that I knew I'd be living far from Manhattan and probably in a closet, but whatever, it's NY.
    Well after applying for copy writing/ editor positions and getting no response, I figured I'd get a job, any job, and then once I'm in the city, it'll all come together.
    It never happened for me. I'm still in FL with a long retail resume, an English degree, and no burgeoning career. I've prayed for NY but the Lord keeps me here in Orlando. I'm learning now to work with what I have & it's fuelling me to grow my blog and future projects because Orlando doesn't have that eager fashion community..yet. I'm learning to keep my options open, to turn my lemons into lemonade; to be hopefully become a big fish in a little pond instead of the other way around which inevitably would be my fate in NY. I thank you for this post! We're making our dreams come true in our own way. Stay positive! -Jonell

  9. Yes, listening to that voice inside is so important. Something made you hesitate when it came to NY and it has lead to you the place you wanted to be.

    Great post!


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