What would be your ultimate dream job? Do you ever wonder about the career that got away? Do you have the courage to pursue your dreams and obsessions, and transform them into your life’s work? In Inner Worlds Outer Spaces, Ceridwen Dovey amasses a series of intimate portraits of people who love what they do. The resulting profiles are both celebrations of the extraordinary and meaningful work done by those on paths less travelled, and explorations of fields of knowledge and expertise that are often inaccessible to outsiders.
While we’re on the topic of dream jobs: Dovey’s vocation of ‘fiction writer’ sounds pretty sweet. So, just for fun, we decided to put the In the Garden of the Fugitives author in the hot seat and flick some questions back her way.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always knew I wanted to do something creative – I usually cycled between wanting to be a piano teacher, an actor, or writing books. But there was also a time when I wanted to be a witch or wizard when I grew up (after reading Ursula Le Guin’s The Earthsea Trilogy).
First job you ever had?
Waitressing at Café Eighty Ate in North Sydney – a café that is still going strong 25 years later!
Worst job you ever had?
At college in America, I was on the student ‘Dorm Crew’ – we were paid to clean the dormitory bathrooms and rooms of other students also at the university. It was always awkward if you happened to know the people whose toilet you were scrubbing.
Best job you ever had?
Being a fiction-writer: you get to live in worlds of your own creation for months and years at a time, yet it still counts as serious, adult work.
A career path you almost followed?
A profession you admire greatly?
Teaching. I’m from a family of teachers – my parents and sister have built careers around their passion for educating others – and I never stop being in awe of what it takes to be a great teacher.
Ultimate fantasy dream job?
I think I might already be living the dream as a mum and a writer – if I can figure out a way to keep surviving by my words and my wits, then this is all I’d ever want to do.