A week after creating Crow Girl Publishing, I’m still a little startled by the idea of being a business owner. It’s something that it would never have occurred to me that I would ever be, until about a day or two before I registered the name. Even when I was writing, freelancing, doing all that, I never thought of myself as having a business (I thought of writing as a business, but that is a different thing).
I suppose I should be used to it. A number of decisions that have ended up changing the course of my life have come upon me quickly, often as not sneaking up from behind and then settling over me and snapping into place as if they had always been there. I’d deliberate after the initial idea came, and ask myself if it was the right choice. But the real decision was made in a snap, not in the subsequent investigations and self-doubt.
That’s how I ended up moving out to Ontario and in with the man who became my husband. Even the law degree was rather a last minute thing. I was studying history, contemplating grad school. The financial downturn happened at about the same time that I realised that I didn’t want to spend five years doing a dissertation on some arcane little corner of history, whose subject was determined, not out of interest, half the time, but because it was something no-one else had done.
And so I thought–what could I see myself doing? Law was the only “applied” profession that appealed to the person I had become.
Just like that: I thought “what about law?” And something snapped into place. I made the decision to apply to law school two weeks before the deadline. I signed up for the last two LSATs I’d be able to write that would gain me admission in the coming school year. Because of my full course load (including a paper and a final exam the day before the LSAT), I didn’t do all that well on the first LSAT I wrote. I knew it, and my sense of disappointment only reinforced the fact that I really wanted to pursue this course. With my second LSAT, I gained admission to my first school of choice (I really wanted to get in at this particular school because I love the campus. It reminds me of Hogwarts; all climbing ivy, dilapidated elegance and buildings that are somehow far bigger on the inside than they seem from the outside. Though the latter is more TARDIS than Hogwarts, really).
It also happens to be the top law school in Canada–which is significant in that the level of teaching, and the kinds of speakers who come through the school are fantastic–their messages are fascinating, vexing, humbling. My fellow students are also amazing–dynamic, smart, fun, and altogether impressive.
The experience, despite its stresses and challenges, has been spectacular. I am now going into my third year and am totally loving it. I feel so deeply enriched and exhilarated and humbled by the process of studying law–studying the principles that govern our lives, that give us rights, and all kinds of other invisible, profound empowerments–while taking away others.
And yet the choice itself was made quickly, just like this recent decision to start a business.
Last week, I realised it might make more sense to register a business name for my ISBN registrations and for other kinds of paperwork. I also discovered that even if I wanted to just use my name, with the word “Publishing” after it, then I’d have to do the registration. So, I thought–why not register a name that I actually like, that is somehow fanciful, and represents some facet of me, or that carries some symbolic resonance?
And within a few hours, the name floated up: Crow Girl Publishing. And now, suddenly, I have a business. I have a nascent brand. And the adventure is just beginning!