Before we start I think I ought to put my cards on the table so that we avoid any confusion later. Be warned, this will contain lists, bullet points and no actual cards…
No. 1 and perhaps the most important – What is this blog all about? In a word – Writing. Novels and Screenplays mainly, both short and feature length.
No. 2 There are three main reasons for writing this blog:
- I have some knowledge of the subject – Only a little (and yes, I know the saying), but enough to offer advice on things like: “The mechanics of a screenplay”, “Pitfalls of the industry” and my personal area of expertise – “What not to do” – Because I’ve done that one many, many times!
- It’s a bit of self promotion for my first novel that is coming out next year (yeah, yeah – I should have put this one at the top).
- I am, for want of a better word, a writer. And I should write more. This will hopefully force me to finger my keyboard more often.
No.3 – I am not, despite what you might think, doing this because I want to show off or think that I’m some kind of hero to all of mankind. If I come across as a cocky, bigheaded bastard, then please forgive me – It is not my intention. Please take everything I write with a large pinch of salt. I will not, however, be responsible for any health issues occurring from a huge intake of sodium chloride.
No.4 – And finally, never forget that I am a buffoon, an idiot and all round nubber. (Perhaps this is the most important point?)
With the list out of the way, and taking everything above into account, here’s a brief introduction or as Alan Partridge once said – “Let’s talk about… me!”
I am a writer. A half decent, pretty lazy, failing writer. But a writer none the less. Perhaps in the same way as I am also a footballer, just because I once kicked a ball against a wall when I was ten, or that I’m a chef because I did once manage to cook beans on toast without burning the toast (I burnt the beans, but that’s another story).
So maybe I should say I am striving to make a living as a writer. It’s not going well. The current total income received due to my writing exploits is less than five hundred quid. Over ten years. It won’t just be the math bods amongst you that can work out that isn’t what we like to call a “living wage”.
In the beginning I wrote screenplays both short and feature length, but more recently I’ve turned my hand to writing novels. My first eBook “The Wonderwall” will be released early next year and will, I am almost certain, make me a millionaire inside the first month. Or, more likely, it will sell ten copies, eight of which will be bought by my mum and the other two by some poor sod who pressed the wrong button, twice.
Before the eBook is released I will be uploading the first few chapters on here, so check back soon for the first few pages. Don’t worry – It is completed so there will be actual words on actual (web)pages for you to read.
Perhaps the best thing to come out of my writing so far is that it makes an especially good chat up line on a night out* (For all of about thirty seconds):
“And what is it that you do for a living?”
“I’m a writer don’t you know.”
“Oh really? Wow, look at you, Mr. Swanky pants.”
“I know. I’m amazing, aren’t I?”
“You certainly are. You are making me swoon.”
“Of course I am. Don’t blame yourself, you’re only human.”
Then they dig a little deeper:
“Would I know any of your work?”
“Well, err, I’ve not actually had anything published yet.”
“Oh. Right. You’re that kind of writer. Did I tell you I was a chef – I can cook a mean beans on toast.”
And as they lose interest and slowly back away, I throw them my best line:
“But I have been optioned!”
“Is that the same as being sectioned?”
“No! I sold a screenplay! And I got to meet Mickey from Doctor Who!”
“What’s Doctor Who?”
“Oh, forget it!”
*The above conversation may have been altered for reasons of artistic licence and personal shame.
I did actually meet Mickey from Doctor Who, or as he’s called in real life, Noel Clarke – But that’s a story for another day/post.
I have been very close to breaking in to the film industry – Screenplay options, literary agents etc, but as of now I am yet to make it.
Yet. It’s a word we must always hang on to. The belief that one day it will happen. It might feel like I’m banging my head against a brick wall most days but there is one thing that I promise I will never do – Stop.
Why not just quit and throw the towel in? The simple answer is: I can’t. For good or bad, I won’t let myself quit. As a great man once said:
“Never stop fighting till the fight is done.”
Thank you, Elliot Ness. You are my inspiration.