05 April 2005


Our mutual friend in Sydney,Ova Girl,draws an interesting distinction between jobs and jobettes. She's landed an interesting jobette just recently - see her site for more. But it sets me to wondering about employment generally. The only time I've made anything like a living wage from writing was when I wrote regularly for a magazine about space exploration. Meantime there've been thoroughly satisfying, successful productions of plays I've had a ball writing, plays that have gone down well with the critics, audiences moved to tears, gales of laughter. Then there've been rumours of options being taken up by the NT, plays taken up by movie producers and sent to other movie producers to look at, plays promised grants, money, time, care. So little of it has happened. This is of course my fault in so many ways. When the work has been good enough to be pushed that stage further, I haven't had the necessary confidence, energy, balls. A good example of my culpable neglect of my own interests is in my failure to have an agent by now. Knocked back by a couple of busy, powerful ones, I stopped asking. But it's taken me till now to work out that this is just what happens, it's the way of the world.
Richard Eyre's diary has a reassuring Auden quote:
Between the ages of twenty and forty we're engaged in the process of discussing who we are, which involves learning the difference between accidental limitations which it is our duty to outgrow and the necessary limitations of our nature beyond which we cannot trespass without impunity.
So I have until December next year.
Today I hear that the rights to A Portrait reside with the Joyce estate, whose spokesperson in Ireland can only be reached by letter (one was sent yesterday). I've been shy of blogging about this, but the BBC do seem to want me to do it. Now we need the rights. Perhaps I should pay another visit to the Cathedral.
Tonight I go to the launch of a production company, The Ideas Foundry. I was invited by the actress Sarah Berger, an interested party. I met her at a drinks thing given by a writer friend of Toby's called Emma Frost.
So it goes on. Someone's got to do it, I suppose.

Deeply amused by HRH's misfortunes. Horrible of me, but he's such a comical arse. Like a Wodehouse baddie crossed with Sacher-Masoch. Reactionary wimp. Having said that, the only person I know who's had any direct dealings with him (the father-in-law) says he's alright. But the media persona - practically everybody's experience of him - is a disaster.


Ova Girl said...

It is hard. And it's heart breaking. And we still keep writing. my writing life is full of short lists and nearly made its.
I think at the lowest point when I missed out on something by a bee's dick, I was plunged into depression and raged to c I'd had enough and I was going to train to be a midwife. And then I was scouring the newspaper for courses and was sidetracked by some article or something and I thought...hmmm, that's a great story. And then later that day, overcome with tears about how fucking tough it all was, i slipped into a cinema to watch a movie, and was comforted. And I realised...I'm a writer. Even when I'm a poor, unrecognised writer, or an unsuccessful - I'm still a writer. And there's nothing I can do about it except keep writing.
But there was a comfort in that too.And wierdly, after that, things started to get better.

I think this is a great post SBS because we all ask why we do what we do. Why are we artists? Does anyone really care? Does it matter if they don't?
p.s get back on that agent wagon! If the BBC are interested then now is the perfect time to 'seek representation'

sbs said...

I'm wondering what the movie was. Reminded of the scene in Hannah and Her Sisters when Woody Allen's suicidal character is resuscitated by watching the Marx Brothers -Duck Soup, I think - in a cinema (or movie theater, as he'd say).

Icky as it may sound, I think we understand one another. But this business of seeing stories everywhere we look is exhausting sometimes, no?

Ova Girl said...

totally. And with the research I'm doing now (crime) it's also kinda scary.

And by the way, it was Antz (starring the voice of Woody Allen oddly enough)