This week I have been mostly learning why, when and how to evict people from nightclubs. Yes, I know – nothing to do with writing. And, if you’ve ever seen/spoken/interacted with me, nothing close to my natural metier. But work told me to go and so I went.
Now there are several lines I could go down here. I could lament the loss of writing time (I’ve written not a word creatively) and point out the lack of money in fiction. I’m sure you’ve seen the reports saying that the vast majority of novelists don’t even earn a living wage. I could ask if anyone knows ways of supplementing your income through writing-related skills: editing, proof-reading and the like. Apparently 41% of 200 writers attending the LA Times Festival of Books teach creative writing, and it’s occurred to me that I could do such things if I’m prepared and can afford to get the relevant qualifications.
Or I could say how much I – to my own surprise – enjoyed the course and met some interesting people and got new ideas for stories.
Life is good. People are good, and interesting, and fuel your imagination. Whilst it’s hardly possible to learn everything under the sun – or even beyond, out in deep space – everything you do helps you grow as a person and as a writer. Now I have a greater understanding of how clubs and festivals and assorted shindigs operate I’m much more confident should I ever want to set a scene in these environments. I now know something about the sort of people who might take work as bodyguards.
I can bank this info and draw on it – at any point in the future – to create something richer, more realistic, than I could before. Plus I’ve added new character-types to my well: prison officers, ex-military, Russian migrants, former methamphetamine producers – examples of all were on my course. So was the clown who hides his smarts behind a veneer of simplicity, and if that’s not an archetype you can paint me pink and call me Joanna.
There’s no moral to this. No great message, barely even a point. I’ve not had time to read through this piece to see if it’s worth posting: it’s going up even if I look back in a month’s time and think it’s all bollocks. Please accept my apologies for wasting your time. Just be warned. I now know how to put you in the ‘safety pin’ and escort you from the premises. So don’t go causing trouble in here. Mmmkay?