Avoiding the Black Empty Hole of Graduation by Dreaming of Work


I have been trying to write since my graduation (yes! I graduated!), but I have been having trouble concentrating on the actual writing process. This might have something to do with the insane amounts of writing I have done in the past months, writing a thesis and becoming a NaNoWriMo winner. Whatever the cause may be, I have several unfinished blog posts ranging with topics ranging from Young Adult Books to Neutral Milk Hotel / Doctor Who fan fiction. Today however I felt inspired. The question that you get asked the most after finishing your thesis is not ‘What was it about?’ or ‘Are you OK now you have fallen in this black pit of nothingness after being a student for almost 7 years?’. It is ‘What will you do next?’. Leave it to actual grown ups to always think about the practical side of life, like how to pay your rent and asking you for a five year plan. To answer this question once and for all,  I have made a top 5 of my favourite all time dream jobs. Some of which may be a bit too dreamy, but that never hurt anyone.

1. The Doctor’s Companion.

Doctor's Companion

Amy & Rory proved that couples can be companions too! It’s not just a ladies job any more.

Ever since 2005, when my dad tricked me into watching the new series of Doctor Who, this has been my dream. That first episode when Rose leaves her mum and boyfriend behind to go with the Doctor on crazy space adventures re-sparked my faith in the possibility of having magical adventures now that I was old (more on that in a later dream job). And although it might not be an actual job as you do not get paid, you also don’t have to pay rent when you leave boring planet Earth behind and exchange it for all the planets and all the different time periods of the entire universe. I would travel back in time to meet my favourite authors and I would go to new planets and meet -hopefully friendly- aliens and fight many Daleks. No Weeping Angels though, they scare me too much.

There might be some downsides to this ‘job’, like the constant threat of death and the spiraling depression you enter after the Doctor leaves you behind. However, the infinity of space does seem worth it and the Doctor is such a dreamboat that no one could ever refuse!

2. Working in a Bookshop or Library

I'm visiting Portland in a month and going to Powell's is the thing I am most excited about!

I’m visiting Portland in a month and going to Powell’s is the thing I am most excited about!

Spending every single day surrounded by books, talking about books and advising people what they should read simply sounds amazing. In my breaks I would read books and when there aren’t many people around I would read some more.  All you do is be around books with people who like books and want to talk to you about it. What’s not to love?

Of course I know that working in a library isn’t just standing around, organizing books according to the Dewey decimal system, but I am just ignoring all that stuff about meta-data and bookstores going out of business because no one reads anymore. Although working with books has always seemed like a dream job to me, most people find it boring and unambitious. What these people don’t know is that bookshops and libraries are filled with magic and danger and if you do not believe me, I refer you to the Waterstones Oxford St. Twitter account. Reading is a seriously dangerous pass time.

3. Being a Witch

Taken by Lotte van den Broek

My foot and leg as the Wicked Witch of the East.

Coming back to my comment in the first dream job, ever since I was really young and I learned to read I have wanted to be magical. Any magical power would do, but my all time favourite magical ‘creature’ will always remained the wizard or witch. And when I say witch i am talking about a person who can use magic to do whatever he or she well pleases. So no strange limitations like the one in The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (best title of 2011 or what?) where witches can only look into the future by stirring in the soup of life with a large wooden spoon. I want to be a full-blown witch, having insane magical powers and being able to attack, protect and conjure with spells and hand gestures.

It is not very surprising that some of my favourite books include witches and wizards. Harry Potter shaped my childhood and the dream lives on while I read books like The Magicians and The Night Circus and watch horrible movies such as The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. And now that I have reached an age of which it is very unlikely to be called to be a student at Hogwarts or Brakebills, the dream of having magical powers has still not died.

4. Working for an Organisation that brings more Awesome into the World

Ministry of Stories' Monster Supply Store

Ministry of Stories’ Monster Supplies, because monsters have shopping needs as well.

Getting back into reality, I find that I do not actually ask for a lot when thinking of a nice and interesting job. Working for a cool organisation, almost no matter what kind of job, seems like enough. If you work in an interesting environment with interesting and exciting people it could become relatively easy to enjoy your working life and to find or create a satisfying job. An often used example for this is Google. They have the best offices with ball pits [link]  and crazy furniture and once you are hired you can just play video games all day and never have to work ever again. Although Google seems like a great place to work, I prefer other organisations like Etsy or NaNoWriMo.

My current favourite is the Ministry of Stories by Nick Hornby or 826 Valencia by Dave Eggers. Both are creative writing centers for young people, meaning kids up to 18 years old. These centers are run by authors, teachers and volunteers helping young people to get excited about writing. They are great social non-profit organisations with many different events and possibilities for children to join. Ministry of Stories is based in London while 826 Valencia hails from Los Angeles. There are several other writing centers in America  based on the initial idea of Dave Eggers, which all have their own theme and corresponding shop. Ministry of Stories has the Hoxton Street Monsters Supplies Shop selling monstrosities and the Los Angeles based store is a Pirate Supply store for all your one-eyed needs. I think it is a shame that Europe only has one writing centre, so if anyone has any interest in setting up a themed writing centre in Holland, please contact me!

5. Author

2013 Winter TCA Tour - Day 7

If only they were my parents. I would have the creepiest pop culture references on the playground.

Writing books for a living is a dream job which only comes true for a small group of people. If it was up to me I would just write every single day at home in my pajamas eating chocolate and sipping good coffee instead of the instant coffee you get at most offices. Making up stories and inspiring people who read the weird thoughts you decided to put down on paper is all I really want from life. Writing books has been my dream ever since I can remember.

Now that I am a bit older I would also love to write screenplays, normal plays, TV shows and maybe someday even a musical. In my dreams my work would be a mixture of Amy Sherman-Palladino and David Lynch, fast witty dialogue with a creepy insane atmosphere, but I am not sure the world could handle that type of awesomeness. I will blame the world if I fail to become an author, just so you know.

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