So this evening at 6.30pm I will be talking to a gathering of Bournemouth University scriptwriting students (I think they are collectively known as a 'Piss Up'). I will be divulging all the knowledge I have accumulated over the years on how to carve out a successful writing career. That should take all of five minutes then....at least I'll be home early.
When I was asked to give a talk at the university I jumped at the chance. So many people have given me advice over the years, whether they knew it or not, it's good to be able to pass on that knowledge to a new generation of emerging writers. I only wish there had been more people willing to give up their time and their advice when I was on the scriptwriting degree in 1998-2001.
The scriptwriting degree was great but fell short I think because it only taught me about the writing side of a career. Hardly anything at all was mentioned about how to go about getting work and networking. Indeed it took me four years after leaving university to realise I actually knew nothing about the business and another six years to learn all I could while networking like crazy. And I still don't know a lot.
Since I escaped university with my degree, giant leaps have been made on the internet, with things like Skype, Blogger, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, aiding writers to put themselves out there and connect with other like minded individuals. Technology has leapt forward too with phones that can now do all the above where ever the writer might be. No longer is a writer tied to their desk. I never had any of that when I started out....or 'Back In The Day' as I call it.
That's why I'm glad the opportunity arose to give this talk. Emerging writers have it so much better these days with people like myself, Danny Stack, Tim Clague and Lucy Hay giving up our time to pass on our knowledge. You don't know how lucky you are.
Christ, I sound like my dad!