There might be many millions of writers out there but only a tiny minority who make a living at it. And for the large remainder, perhaps the romantic notion of just writing is enough?
As ‘writing’ goes there is an obvious hierarchy; headed up by the professionals….
Those who write screenplays which become movies. Then, perhaps the writers for TV. Less vaunted now but for how long with streaming now ruling the waves?
Novelists of course. First, the authors with actual publishers and then the self-published. And topping the pile, the best-selling authors. Household names, so famous they just need one name: Rowling, King, Grisham…
Then journalists? Those columnists and pundits, the critics and feature writers and reporters… and a raft of on-line scribes too.
The trade writers. Experts in their field, no matter how oblique. And let’s not forget the academics writing our text books.
And continuing on down we go…
Until finally, we hit the bottom and reach the bloggers.
To quote Robert Downey Jnr in Spider-Man Homecoming – Tony Stark talking to Peter Parker, “…through there Peter are the word’s press, proper writers. No bloggers…”
I am a blogger. And an independently published author. My screenplays have never been filmed. This means that on the ladder of professional writers, I am seriously looking up.
I don’t say this to be mawkish, in a woe is me kind of way. I like my blog. I enjoy writing it. People enjoy reading it. At least they tell me that they do. And they are plentiful, according to Google analytics anyway. My blog punctuates my week. I like having something to do. A deadline and an expectant audience and it being every Sunday, maybe they are my congregation.
Not that periodically, I don’t look up at this metaphorical ladder. I peer at the writers above me and sometimes I wonder. I might read a novel that is flying high and I ask myself how? Or read a column that I wished I hadn’t because life is too short.
Like all bloggers I have ambitions to ascend these rungs but without the wherewithal and why I was pleased to recently be introduced by a mutual friend to a real life pro writer. A bestselling novelist. In production with various screenplays and featuring regularly in newspapers.
She was kind enough to read my work. First, Eclipsed and then in order, The Fruit Bowl. I, Gabriel, Open Links and Takes on Life. This is a lot of my words and by someone I have only just got to know. I have members of my own family who haven’t shown such commitment and I have known them forever.
Then she started on my blog and asked why I don’t have a column in a newspaper.
A flattering question but not easy to answer. Where to start?
My answer is unsatisfactory and she resolves to put me in the frame. Apparently, she knows people and mentions some lofty titles. I thank her but privately I scoff. And also I fret because Nikki has been suggesting for years that I should try to get my blog published.
My new best friend suggests that I write a couple of articles for her to submit.
To show willing (and desperation?), I quickly write six and fire them over.
She submits two. They ask for more and she follows up with the remaining four. These are well received also and maybe I begin to believe.
I am conflicted though because if this comes off, the downside will be Nikki…
“I told you. You never listen to me. How long have I been saying…”
But then it goes quiet as these things often do. Such magazines are inundated. Much more famous writers than me are submitting their stuff.
But my new friend assures me I’m in with a shout. Apparently, my writing has resonated.
Even so, I reason my chances are slim.
But then the editor calls my friend. A friend I have never met btw. They are surprised that a man as wealthy as Dominic Holland would be seeking a column.
They have done an online search and found a site proclaiming that… “….since Dominic Holland became famous, he has accrued a net worth of…
Wait for it.
…£17 million quid”
I know, who knew?
Not me. I wasn’t even aware of being “famous” let alone loaded.
My friend sends me the link and sure enough, there it is, the remarkable figure of 17 million quid. I have some serious searching to do. And questions to answer, like why the hell do I still have a mortgage?
We’re told never to believe anything we read in newspapers – and this applies to stuff on-line also.
And yet people still do believe what they read, obviously.
Including my wife and she is furious. Absolutely spitting feathers. Her husband is worth 17 million quid.
Straight away she is on the phone to her lawyer.
I didn’t even know she had a lawyer.
Nikki’s solution is simple.
She wants half and OUT.