Sometimes, it’s important to start at the very beginning. Before you can Do the thing! you have to want the thing, and once you want the thing, you have to be able to admit it to yourself and other people.
Why? You gotta know your own goals in order to pursue them. And it’s murder to network in an effective way if you don’t feel comfortable and confident in being able to articulate what your ask is and what you bring to the table in response to it.
There are all sorts of reasons saying what we want is hard. When I was a child, and my parents asked me what I wanted for holidays gifts, I would answer, only to be told I didn’t really want those things. After all, they were so trendy, or aesthetically displeasing, surely I knew better than to have desires like that. In high school, if I expressed attraction to someone, the response was always, but don’t you know they’re out of your league?
Over time, the message was simple. I didn’t know how to make good choices, and the things I wanted were unreasonable and should not be expressed. Chances are, you got messages like this too, along with messages that if you express a goal that you don’t achieve, then you look like a failure and that’s embarrassing, as opposed to a brave, ambitious person who is going after their goals.
But saying what we want is important. It’s powerful. It tells us we can pursue our own destiny. It tells us we don’t need permission. It tells us we are worthy of ambition. It tells us what we want is possible. It tells us desire is not a sin. It tells us we can make stuff happen.
And when we’re women, or queer, or otherwise marginalized (and the vast majority of the readers of this blog are at least one of those things), we need to hear that. For ourselves, and to help other people get the courage to say I want.
So here are my easy I want statements: I want the contracts I am currently waiting on to show up in my email. I want yes on the other things I have out for submission. I want a yes on the things going out soon for submission. And I want a glorious team of rivals with which to make shit happen.
Here’s my hard to say out loud, even though it’s no secret, I want statement: I want to write for TV.
What do you want? Say it right now. Get used to that desire, enjoy that desire, and use that desire. Need a place to say it? Comments are open. Do the thing.
Challenge accepted. My to-do list needs refreshing. :). So…
I want to write a paper about archaeology and history in the novels of Patricia McKillip and submit it to a journal with a reasonable ERA ranking. Then I want to write a book proposal about the novels and short stories of Patricia McKillip and submit it for consideration to a decent academic publisher that doesn’t run screaming from the thought of taking fantasy lit seriously (first, I have to find that publisher). Also, I want to write a novel.
I also want to get a Lecturer position working in literary studies, and all of the above will help with that.
There we go.
I don’t know if this gives you hope for the future or what, but one of my literature professors specialized in researching Harlequin romance novels.
Ok, here goes..
I want to quit my well-paid, but boring job, but not before saving enough money to be able to move to London (from Austria).
I want to find a job at a tv/radio station or film studio there. I want to start working in a field that interests me,even though I have no experience in it yet.
I want to take my cat with me.
I want to do this before I turn 30, so that means I’ve got about a year left.
Phew.. Saying it out loud is scary though, all the what-ifs and the doubts seem louder too, but I guess they creep in as soon as you get the idea to change the status quo anyway, and having a defined goal is helpful. So, cheers for doing the Thing!
I want to find a job.
I want to use my free time between temp jobs until I find a full time job to finish one of the three novels I’ve started and get it ready for submission.
I want to get my actual and financial houses in order
Scary to speak my wants when they’re all tied to a health condition outside of my control, but challenge accepted. I want at least some of my health and vitality back. (Of course I want back all of it, but that’s so unrealistic right now that it hurts to even think of it.) I want enough mental clarity and reprieve from pain and fatigue to allow me to resume figuring out how and where I want to/can direct my creative ambitions. (Whew, that one’s hard to say out loud. Those vague creative ambitions have been stifled in a shoebox for way too long.) I want to be physically and mentally capable of striving for enough financial security to move back out of my parents’ home, even if it means I would have to hire a part-time caretaker. I want to find ways to keep from screaming my frustration/anger/fear/despair at the snail’s pace I must keep in order to see any kind of progress.
For what it’s worth, I thought you had written for TV!
Right now my want is just a personal project, where I wish to adapt a certain personally-significant Mathematics text (Euclid’s Elements) to fiction somehow.
Well, there’s writing for TV and there’s writing for TV that actually winds up on TV. Gotta make the sale!
Right! Well good luck Doing That Thing! You’re excellent at writing about TV, in my opinion as someone who doesn’t watch TV. I mean, I enjoy reading your recaps for shows I will never watch.
I want to actually finish something! Even if it is just a short story.