The International Writers Magazine
Dont You Get A Proper Job?
Bohemia personified: Tristan Scott Davis, on being a writer
endless rejection letters collected in the folder you bought with
your dole money ...'
an ironic statement really. Not least because I maintain that any job
that puts bread on the table is a proper job (save illegal
occupations like drugs barons and prostitution); but because the above
question has been principally aimed at me by friends who themselves
have far better job prospects than I; friends who are employed as a
full time trolley boy at Asda Walmart, or a cashier at Safeway.
Dear kettle: all regards, pot I find myself saying to these
unwitting friends or relatives. And they hate me for it. But I dont
For those of us crazy enough to be a writer of any sort - then (according
to myth, stereotype or reality), the dodgy central heating in the flat
with windows that let the rain in, and rent that you cannot possibly
afford and eat properly at the same time - are just some of the things
we may have to endure. And endure them we do. Endlessly. Waiting for
the big break, the publishing contract
the money! (
The endless rejection letters collected in the folder you bought with
your dole money; the pile of crumpled up sheets overflowing just by
the wastepaper basket, stood next to the old desk thats vanish
is marred with coffee and nicotine. I can see it now. Bohemia personified.
And where does all my inspiration come from I ask? If I knew that, then
I would have made my fortune long ago.
But, its what you do isnt it? A writer isnt your average
joe public. Anyone can write maintained an old
school tutor of mine. Yes, but not everyone can write well. A three
letter word, so crucial to this profession. A worker with talent will
go far in his job - thus a writer with talent should (in theory) get
published. But alas, not so. Not all the time, at any rate.
For writers like myself; (now) single, slightly conceited members
of society who have delusions of grandeur, sitting supping a hot beverage,
reading The Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian (including all supplements)
in cafes or wine bars; the idea of a proper job may seem
a preposterous jibe out our profession. But the fact is, that we do
(my mistake; I do) view other jobs as to some extent beneath me - despite
my viewpoint expressed above. Its not for me, that office
job I used to say, flicking through the employment pages of my
local rag when I was younger. But the fact is, I do have a job. A proper
I work, (part time admittedly) as an office administrator - filing paper,
liaising with clients of my company, covering for my manager whilst
he and my colleague have a meeting. And the other half of
my time is spent writing; writing fiction, writing prose, writing poetry,
or penning the odd conjectural article such as you are reading now.
My wonderfully ambitious and lucrative time spent at the employment
agency I work with provides just enough money to keep me out the black.
But which do I consider the proper job?...the writing
©2004 Tristan Scott Davis
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