It’s tough. It’s laborious. It’s draining. It’s frustrating. It’s demanding. It’s competitive. It’s a risk. It’s lonely. It’s heartbreaking. And yet, it’s all that I am and everything I cannot live without. I always knew I’d be a writer — wasn’t sure in what capacity, but I knew how writing made me feel, and that that feeling was so intricately woven into the fabric of my character.
Cut to: It’s 2008, I’ve graduated, with a 2:1 BA Hons in Journalism, I’m heading to the UAE and South Africa for 2 months of backpacking. I’m living, I’m learning, I’m growing, and if I can be brave enough and self-sufficient enough to travel independently in this way, I should have no problem taking life by the balls when I return to the UK.
Cut to: It’s 2009 and I’m at the Job Centre. I’m sandwiched between people either in sincerely desperate situations, those who ‘cannot be bothered,’ and those who don’t know how to be bothered, thinking: ‘I’m taking on piss-poor work experience when I can get it, staying in my Dad’s box room, looking for part-time retail work to keep afloat, and all this ‘trying’ has led me to the same place I would’ve been if I’d dropped out of school at 15. Is this all there is?’
Cut to: It’s 2010 and things are looking up. The Royal Court Theatre, Arcola Theatre, The BBC, The British Council, Kori Arts and Southbank, are all reputable worlds that have allowed me to add ‘writer, researcher, coordinator, and marketing’ to my CV. But I’m still in Dad’s box room, my overdraft follows me like a bad smell, and the ‘success’ of my writing provides fleeting satisfaction, followed by the anxiety of having to find the next ‘gig’ before the doors close. But then one day…
I’m waiting for a friend at the BFI, I’m browsing in the bookshop. I stumble across a book titled ‘I Could’ve Written a Better Movie Than That’ by Derek Rydall. I pick it up, and learn that it’s a manual for writers who want to develop their business acumen. I only have £10 on me this week—the exact price of the book—a risky purchase that became the turning point of my career.
Cut to: It’s present day. I’m writing, on my own terms and getting paid! I’m managing a department in an Arts College, I’m writing, ‘M.A’ after my name, because writing got me a full scholarship to study a Masters in Critical Arts Management, and I’ve taken it upon myself to become that person who puts their arm around the shoulders of all those who say, exhaustively, ‘this shit is hard’.
Scribble Ink is a Story Consultancy dedicated to mentoring writers throughout their creative process. I established the writers’ revelation revolution in 2010 after reading Rydall’s bible. I now deliver c, my and allows me to work with creatives all over the world, and my support 500 students across 53 countries.
So whoever you are, whatever your story, just know that the swings, roundabouts and merry-go-round are what make your craft the magical thing that it is. Writers are people who write. That’s it. But your business acumen, coupled with your willingness to learn and take risks, might be the scotch bonnet to your literary broth!
It’s tough, but nothing that comes easy is as satisfying. It’s laborious, but so are plenty of other jobs, and quite frankly, I’d rather be here, writing and engaging with you, right now. It’s draining, but so is anything that pushes you to give your all. It’s frustrating, but frustration is the by-product of an ambitious mind. It’s demanding, but it’s my baby. It’s competitive, but competition is a healthy part of human nature. It’s a risk, but it’s super-exciting. It’s lonely, but people are trash. It’s heartbreaking, because it’s pure love, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.