Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Playing Piano In A Brothel

.........Would earn you more money than writing. It's official. Well not in so many words but ALCS have a survey out showing that 10% of UK writers [and German for some reason] earn 50% of the dosh while 30% of writers earn less than the average wage.

Now while I admit I am of the school of Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics that is the kind of statistic that strikes fear into would be screenwriters. And it shouldn't. If you look behind it a couple of things come to mind. Firstly the survey seems to be conducted with ''writers'' including novelists, playwrights, poets and every shade in between. The vast majority of writers are novelists, playwrights, poets and every shade in between. The vast majority of novelists, playwrights, poets and every shade in between are very poorly paid.

The vast majority of film and TV writers aren't. So I'd figure that a lot of that top 10% were screenwriters. But before any smug smiles about career choice appear here is a very sobering thought.

There are some 20 thousand odd novels published every year in the UK. 20 thousand chances to strike gold, build a career. There are maybe 2 thousand hours of drama [in a very good year] Most of which are filled by established writers.

The costs of entry for a new writer are so much less for a novel than a TV show or movie. So the risk to publishers[producers] is much less. A novelist is not going to see anything he hasn't written or agreed with appear in print. A novelist isn't going to have their work compromised by physical production issues.

So you pays your money and you takes your choice. Writing a novel would bore me shitless which is why I haven't done it. But that's just me. David Balducci had many scripts rejected before he decided to attack HW through the novel route. Worked for him.

Think about it. It might work for you.

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