My trouble is I think I should be on television. Or, failing that, in television.
Script writing. Joke writing. Satirical gameshow panellist (obviously after downing a few stiff drinks to combat the nerves). Just something. My own office at the BBC. Next door to Steven Moffat. Eating in the Beeb canteen sat opposite Justin Fletcher. Anything.
This conviction has been growing on me for years.
When I watch a TV drama or watch people involved with them being interviewed I think to myself: that should be me, that should; I should be doing that. I’m bloody well made for it I am. It’s the kind of life I want.
But I don’t have it because it’s only come to me in the last few years that this is what I should be doing.
If it had hit me when I was 18 I would have stood more of a chance. I could have done voluntary work at the BBC. Made tea for Biddy Baxter. Polished Terry Wogan’s microphone. Demeaned myself for ten years before getting that first all-valuable foot onto the ladder...
“Oh yes, I’ve written the odd script myself, don’t you know... Care to take a look? Yes, it is rather good, isn’t it...? Just something I’ve had knocking around for the last 15 years...”
But now it’s going to be a hard slog. Upwards all the way. I’m the wrong side of 40. I’m still looking for an agent. Untried and untested despite my obvious *cough cough* talents. Even though I have actually been writing since I was 9. I have The Beatles’ Paperback Writer going round and round in my head. My (paid) work experience up to this point revolves around facilities management and maintenance contracts. It doesn’t exactly say the next Alan Bennett, does it?
I’m being tripped up by all the wrong career turnings I’ve ever taken; all the poor ‘done-for-the-convenience-of-the-moment’ decisions.
I’m still being held back by my youthful naivety – when all I wanted to do was write and so that is all I have been doing. For the last 30 odd years.
What I should have been doing was applying. Writing and trying to apply it. There’s a difference, you see?
Well, I’m not giving up.
I’ll make tea if I have to but, trust me BBC, I’m much better at writing it...