Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Cyril Connolly... elaborate whistle... to fade

Back again! The hobby that I do five days a week, 9 to 5, in that London is threatening to encroach on my screenwriting career once again.

If you want to know what my day job is like - you'd have to be pretty bored, but still - then read Phillip Barron's description of the perfect day job for a writer here: no computers, no long commute, don't take the work home - all that. Excellent advice. Now imagine the exact opposite of all that. That's what my
day job is like.

Of course, like many other writers now and through history, I need the money. When I used to work at Lloyds Bank years ago, I comforted myself that T S Eliot had done the same. But unlike him, I wasn't going to have Ezra Pound begging patrons to save me from my workaday strife, so my only option was to learn to like it.

And I find that the more I do like my day job, the better and more successful the writing is alongside. When I've been in dead end situations, I've generally reached a dead end with the writing too.

And whoever said "the pram in the hallway is the enemy of art" was wrong in my case too. Actually, it was Cyril Connolly. And I want to tell him, because it seems so obvious: try the garage or the porch if the hallway offends you, dummy.

No, having a child has also done nothing but inspire me to do better work. I recommend it fully: go procreate, it'll make your screenwriting better. See, you wouldn't get advice of that calibre at a Robert Mckee seminar.

Which is probably a good thing.


Jason Arnopp said...

May I say, sir, that I'm delighted you're attending the Screenwriters' Festival?

Can I, sir?

Can I?

Right, then.

I'm delighted you're attending the Screenwriters' Festival.

John Soanes said...

Thank you for the title of that post - I know which tune will be playing round my head for the rest of the day.

Stuart Perry said...

John, kudos on getting the Half a Bee reference.

Jason - well, I'm delighted you're attending the festival. It's going to be one big carousel of enjoyment!