to work here, but it helps.
Yep a cliche that a writer would never use. But cliches become so because they tend to be true. And I do actually believe that in order to actively seek and then survive the life of a professional writer you need a certain degree of insanity. Except you don't think you're insane, it's only everyone else who thinks you are.
And who can blame them? You have no job security or career structure. Your entire livelihood is based on the subjective decision of others. And unlike the work of a self-employed carpenter for example, your work is up for scrutiny by millions of people who have access to the internet and aren't slow about voicing there opinions.
I 've noticed that James Moran has stopped blogging and for a nano second Stephen Fry stopped twittering. A writer is open to abuse in ways never before anticipated. And for a writer that is tough, especially for the sensitive variety and especially for a TV/film writer. We have our names on the credits but the viewing public as a rule have no idea of the battles fought and lost so any sense of injustice over criticism leveled is magnified because the writer in general is overuled by the producers et al and can count themselves lucky if 70% of what was envisaged ends up on screen.
It's why I'm trying to move out of that arena with the novel. I want more control over what appears. If I get slated then fair enough. I'll know it was mostly down to me. If it works then it might give me more leverage if I go back into TV. Though to be honest I think it's doubtful if I will go back. I wouldn't trust any of the current regimes on any of the terrestial channels to know good drama if it fucked them soundly and left a return airfair to Rio on the sideboard as a tip.
So yes, a degree of insanity is a pre-requisite to being a professional writer. But not too much. As Swiss Tony from The Fast Show would say - being a writer is like making love to a beautiful woman; Nutters don't get to do it. But someone a little off the wall just might.
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5 years ago