I have this dream. But maybe it's time to let go
An essay on how it feels when part of your career doesn't go to plan and you can't quite accept it but know you might need to - and move on.
I have two theories about ‘getting what you want’, in terms of your career.
Focus clearly on your dream job, make the application/proposal, believe in yourself, do the work and you will make it happen. Whatever it is.
Take matters into your own hands and use the brilliant internet to self-publish/launch your film on YouTube/grow your own community.
When I haven’t managed to achieve number 1, I’ve often opted for number 2, which has then landed me with a version of number 1, in a wonderfully circuitous way.
For instance, when I moved back to London from Somerset about 10 years ago, I wanted to be a journalist and author.
I had a journalism MA, I’d written loads of articles for local and regional press, and I was ready to get a full-time job on a paper or magazine.
So I applied for loads of journalism jobs. But heard nothing back.
I pitched to write freelance articles but the most I was offered was £10 to write an a column for a Hackney paper.
You’ll have a byline, the editor said. But a byline wasn’t going to pay my bills.
Because I was young, free, freelance and didn’t have kids, I was able to work a part-time admin job while trying something on the side.
I wrote a novel.
A few months later, I pitched it out to dozens of agents but nothing happened. No one wanted it (it was completely shit so I’m not surprised).
I gave up on both the journalism and author dreams - or, perhaps, ‘surrendered’ them - and took a full-time job as a corporate copywriter.
When I later lost that job, because I’d had a baby and they wouldn’t keep it open for me for the three months I’d planned to take off, I decided to try something different.
I launched my own digital magazine.
Off the back of that, I was commissioned by the Guardian, Red Magazine and Stylist to write articles.
A year later, I was offered a book deal to write The Freelance Mum.
I wrote for the Telegraph, the Observer, Grazia, Refinery29, Metro and more.
By surrendering those dreams and working hard on other projects - but keeping them tucked away in my subconscious mind - I’d managed to manifest them.
However, there remains a career dream that hasn’t happened for me and it’s come up in conversation a few times recently.