I see from my work-planner that I should be finishing first draft of Dan 4 this week. Sorry to disappoint, but we’re not quite there yet. I keep getting hooked away by other projects, such as The Rest of My Life. Soon, though. Soon…
I’m aware that being a writer is a career many people wish could have been theirs. It may not be up there with brain surgeon or Olympic gold-medalist but it has a certain cachet, which makes it all the more amusing to me that it was never my ambition. No careers adviser suggested it. I took no writing courses. I just kind of fell into it and here I am still. It’s probably too late to change now. I doubt the Royal School of Ballet is going to offer me a place at this point in my life.
But for those of you still young enough to consider a career change, I’d like to alert you to two new, fast-growing professions. The first is Sensitivity Reading, a service now offered to writers who lose sleep over possible unconscious bias, cultural appropriation and problematic language. Many writers now pay to get their manuscript deep-cleaned. I actually know someone who did. Was it worth it? Well, if you want your book purged of all character and spontaneity, absolutely. However, don’t assume it’s a permanent fix. Every day new groups emerge that are on the qui vive for offence. What is okay today may get you brought to the attention of the Witch-Dunker General and cancelled tomorrow. Offer a 24/7 Sensitivity Reading Help Line and you could be laughing all the way to the bank.
The other, related growth sector is Offence Archaeology. If you enjoy nothing more than trawling through thousands of inane Tweets and Facebook posts, this could be your niche. Twitter has now been around for an astonishing 15 years. You hardly need me to tell you what rich pickings you’ll find in the Pre-Cambrian stratum of Tweets and newspapers will pay good money, or at least some money, to hear about them. It’s a dirty job but someone has to do it. Apparently.
Dan 4 and I are off to London for a few days. Will the UK let me in? Will Ireland let me out? Time will tell.