Thursday, April 10, 2008

When I Grow Up

Last week, a fellow blogger (and someone with whom I've unknowingly crossed paths before), wrote about passion. I spared whatever brains cells weren't used in mollifying my 2-yr-old drama queen to think about what my passion is. I've wanted to "be" a lot of different things throughout my life. When I was 12, I wanted to be a biochemist (remember, Lesley?) When I was 16, I wanted to be a translator for the UN. At 21, I wanted to be a theatre director.

I continue to come back to law, which I know I'd be really good at, would have the stamina for, etc. I just....don't want to be a lawyer. I want to do what lawyers do, I guess, only not. I want to teach. I'd love to teach college, but I refuse to deal with all the tenure stuff. I want to teach high school, but I really want to teach honors classes, and isn't that selfish of me?


I finally had an epiphany. I decided that what I wanted to do for a living was read. I want to read books so that I can recommend them to people. A book personal shopper, if you will. A one person booklamp. I spent a delightful few hours reveling in this realization, which has taken me thirty-one and a half years to make.

(Then I started thinking that it sounds suspiciously like I want to be an agent. But I have no idea how to become an agent. I'm probably too old. And I definitely live in the wrong part of the world. There's all of one publishing house in Denver.)

What do you want to be when you grow up??


  1. What do you want to be when you grow up??


    One thing I've found through the years is that something you think you want to do often has all these other... tasks associated with it. Like it's real work or something.

  2. What do you want to be when you grow up??


    Is there still a chance of that coming true?

  3. It is never to late to be whatever you want. And if you wanted to be an agent, well Kristin Nelson is right in Denver, right?

    I want to be rich. That's it. Just rich.

  4. Ello beat me to it, but I want to emphasize that there's one very successful agent in Denver. And although I can't remember which post, a few weeks (months?) ago Kristin wrote that another agency was setting up in town.

    It matters less and less where you are geographically. I know good agents in Missoula, Montana and Naples, Florida. But maybe you want to be a book reviewer rather than an agent . . .

  5. FYI - Maureen Johnson's agent and best friend "Daphne Unfeasible" (Kate Schafer) has just moved to Colorado (not sure if she's in Denver but definitely in the right state). This is her website

    As for me I wanted to be Shirley Temple when I was 5, which developed into wanting to be an actress. Alongside this I always wanted to be a doctor. I ended up doing a science degree which I really sucked at and I ended up working in the Exhibitions and Conference industry before becoming a SAHM. I like shows and drama (except in my life I hate drama in my life!) - I get caught up in stories - which is why I decided to see of I could write. It's taken 41 years to get here but like the Dave Razor postulates, the seeds were there from childhood.
    Remember that an agents job as well as finding and nurturing writing talent is to be a kick-ass sales person and negotiator. Which to me sounds like a nightmare!

  6. Hmm...

    Growing up, I wanted to be a Broadway star. Fortunately, I learned early enough that I don't have the voice for it and can't act my way out of a paper bag.

    I also toyed with the idea of being a UN translator! :) But not for long.

    The most consistent thing was English professor. And that's the one I got closest too. Turned out that's not ideal for me either.


    As for ello and stephen said, 1) Kristin Nelson has a very successful agency in Denver and another agent has moved there, 2) in the Internet age, location isn't such a big deal anymore.

    I have noticed that agents tend to have other previous publishing industry experience...mainly editors at publishing houses. But perhaps you could try to intern for Kristin and see what it's like firsthand.

  7. LOL at retired and sane!

    I want to be a grandma who bakes cookies and runs a small bookstore with younger, very hunky cashiers.

  8. Oooh, younger, hunky cashiers!!



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