I want….I want….I want. Career-wise, life-wise I want so much. Don’t you? Life-wise my wants are easy to list: health, wealth and happiness for me and my loved ones. Not too much to wish for is it?
Career-wise, especially when the career I am pursuing is that of a children’s book author, listing my wants is not so easy. I say, “I want to be a successful children’s book author.” But when I’m asked what I mean by “successful” a whole lot of blah blah blah comes out. Why is that?
Is it because I don't know? Or because I'm hesitant to say...to put it out there...to be so bold. Maybe. Maybe I have never taken the time to define "success" for myself. Or, maybe I have never been able to mustered up the courage to clearly define successful for myself. Courage--it definitely takes courage!
Ask a little kid: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Ballerina! Movie Star! Rock Star! Doctor! Astronaut! President! Superman! Ice Cream Girl! they respond, listing infinite choices and possiblities.
We don’t say, “fat chance” or “who the heck do you think you are wanting to be president?” or “be realistic.” We say: “Go for it!”
Not so for us big guys. It seems the older, more mature, more responsible we are the less willing we are to speak up for ourselves, to dare to define “it.”
How can we “go for it” when we won’t let ourselves admit what “it” is?
Dancing With The Stars co-host, Brooke Burke, started her career as a pretzel maker in a mall shop, and look at her now! Last week, Oprah asked Brooke how she went from a contestant on the show to hosting it. Brooke shared how she had created a Bucket List of desires for herself, which she shared, listed, twittered about. She said she had to let herself be vulnerable, to “put it out there” without worrying that she was sounding grabby, or being unrealistic. And to be willing to say to the world, “This is what I want. And, yes, I am going to go for it!” Brooke’s Bucket List included Co-hosting Dancing With the Stars and Being a guest on Oprah! She put it out there. Brooke risked being scoffed at, shot down, teased, being told “fat chance” and “who the heck do you think you are?” And, as Brooke said, “what’s the worst that could happen?”
Following Brooke’s example, I am daring me to create a career bucket list:
What do I want to be when I grow up? A successful children’s book author!
To me, Kelly Goldman Bennett, “Successful Children’s Book Author” means:
I will write picture books and chapter book manuscripts editors want to publish.
My books will receive starred reviews.
My books will receive awards and be on reading lists.
My books will be featured “all school” and “all city” reads.
Children, parents, librarians and teachers will send me fan mail.
Editors will seek me out; ask me to write for them.
Conference Coordinators will invite me to speak.
All this and more!
Your turn: What’s on your bucket list? I dare you!