Friday, June 01, 2007

When the going gets tough

Those times when in the face of adversity [some producers, networks, script editors, directors and even the occassional 1st AD] you wonder what the hell you are doing and why the hell you are doing it, a writer needs a mantra. Here's the one I go to. A little cliched perhaps but it works for me, maybe it will help someone else. With thanks to Rudyard Kipling for this and the cakes.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream--and not make dreams your master,
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!
--Rudyard Kipling

I substitute Writer for Man. That does the trick.


Phillip Barron said...

Dave, there's a really depressing turn to your blog over the last few weeks (months?) sounds like the job's really getting to you.

It's certainly bringing me down.

Is there any light at the end of the tunnel? Anything positive on the horizon to give the rest of us hope?

English Dave said...

lol Phil. I hadn't realised I was being a depressive but looking back I see you are right.

Here is the positive news. Across the networks, dipshit pension pocketers who went to the right school will eventually get fired as ratings fall to those about to be cremated. Let's hope it is before network Tv becomes an add on to Virgin Media.

Jaded and Cynical said...

There's no shortage of gung-ho bullshit across the blogosphere, if that's what you're looking for.

The occasional flashes of realism are much rarer, and somewhat more useful.

Dave's posts may well be depressing.

But I'm pretty sure they also reflect the reality of what it is to be a working TV writer in the UK today.

I've certainly re-thought my goals and aspirations on the basis of what I've read here over the past few months. The dreams are still there, but I'm paying a lot more attention to plans A and B. And I'm sure that's a good thing.

English Dave said...

Jaded, that is good planning and huge common sense. The world is full of highly committed failures. You just never hear of them.

You hear of the few successes. Don't let that fool anyone into thinking that pro writing is about breaking in. When you break in is when the real test begins.

There will be initial heat, but when that wears off two years down the line at most, you had better make sure you delivered during that time, and I mean delivered to pro standard or it will be a very short career.

martin said...

You might like the more cynical version I wrote for management. It starts: "If you can keep your job when all about you / Are losing theirs and rightly blaming you..."

Jaded and Cynical said...

Martin's version is less inspiring but much funnier.

English Dave said...

That's hilarious Martin!!!!! Excellent.