Jobs are funny aren’t they? I mean we’ve all got to have one, but so many people don’t like theirs, it makes you wonder why they bother. I absolutely love my job at Blockbusters, but like it says in the song, love don’t pay the rent. I’m on the breadline and I really should start thinking a bit more about how I can bring in a few more spondulicks.
When I was a nipper up in Lincoln I used to dream of being a policeman, but back in those days you needed to be at least 5’11” in order to qualify. I looked long and hard at my Mum and Dad, 5’8” and 5’2” respectively and realised I’d be hard pushed to make the Force. My Mum being little didn’t matter so much, but it would be my Dad’s lack of stature that would let me down. It wouldn’t be the first time he let me down or the last either readers, but that’s a different story, for another time.
Pretty soon though I was glad that I wouldn’t be a copper. My friend Steve’s Dad was a copper and pretty much no one trusted him. Steve got pretty badly bullied for a while, then it stopped abruptly when the Dad of one of the bullies was pulled over for speeding and some cannabis was ‘discovered’ during a rectal investigation back at the local station.
No one bullied Steve anymore, but no one talked to him either. Apart from me, I wasn’t scared. Mind, I did suggest to Steve’s Dad more than once that I thought my Dad was a secret weed smoker and he was never pulled over, apart from the time he ran a red light, then the copper just let him off with a warning.
Pretty soon I decided that I wanted to be a footballer and play for Notts Forest. Although, to be honest, sports weren’t really my strong point, well, not until I took up judo, which I only took up when the bullies’ attention moved from Steve to me. I’m a black belt now readers, I’d love to run into those bastards again in a dark alley. Even though I’m a pacifist, I think I’d probably put my resolve to one side this time and give them a well-overdue pasting.
When I took up judo, the only professional judo exponent was Brian Jacks. Man, he really was the king of the dippers. Not surprisingly, I never really harboured ambitions to be a professional judo fighter.
Pretty soon I discovered girls and music. I bought a bass guitar and joined a band. Well, I formed one anyway, with Steve. We were called Cut ‘n’ Run, and played electro-funk goth fusion. We did a gig at the church hall, it went down well, but in all honesty, it was highly unlikely that I’d carve myself a career in the business. When I saw that character in the League of Gentlemen, the bassist in Crème Brulee, it reminded me a lot of Cut ‘n’ Run! You’ve got to laugh sometimes haven’t you? If you didn’t you’d cry. :-(
Anyway, I don’t want to go into too much detail about my search for a job from childhood to adulthood. Suffice to say I went to college and got a Desmond (as in Desmond Tu-Tu) in Mineral Processing and Material Reclamation. I qualified just in time for the UK mining industry to collapse. NICE ONE MAGGIE!!!
I ended up in media sales, more by accident than design, and that’s where I stayed for the next 15 years until I was made redundant and started out on my quest to become a Citizen Journalist – that was under five months and over 70 posts ago, and here we are. I’ve had over 1100 hits and 11 great followers (welcome aboard Jimmy!! - you can read my latest follower Jim's blog at this link here. It's well worth a trip.)
I have to admit, I’ve not really seen much financial reward in journalism. Not a single one of my submissions to The Metro has resulted in payment and my freesheet adult entertainment magazine, The Oyster, has proven the old adage that ‘sex sells’ to be inaccurate. All this recent talk of sponsorship opportunities looked promising, but amounted to nothing.
I was starting to think that maybe writing is not that great a career after all. There aren’t that many superstar journalists are there? Apart from Paxman, natch.
Then I thought, ‘but journalists are writers Barry, there are loads of famous writers and quite a few rich ones too’. Look at JK Rowling. I LOVE Harry Potter. They’re great, they’re so addictive, they’re meant for kids I know, but I’ve got the ones with the ‘adult’ sleeves (they’re not covered in pictures of boobs ;-) they’re just plain and serious, so when you’re reading them in public, it looks like you’re reading a proper grown-up’s book).
Writing books is not as hard as you’d imagine readers, the trick is coming up with something no one else has ever thought of that taps into a market hungry for something they didn’t realise they were hungry for. I mean to say, who would ever had thought a book series about a wizard would have been successful?! And Rowling’s books have all been turned into films, so now she’s a multi-millionnairess ten times over. Thanks books. She had a secret up her sleeve all right, or should that be wizard’s sleeve??! lol ;-))
I started thinking about what I could write about that no one has realised they want yet. I went into the local library to do some research. I basically took a pad and pen and then wrote down all the types of books they stock. It took flippin ages!!! I thought I’d write down everything and then whatever was left would be a market as yet untapped.
I stumbled across a whole section full of books that are based on films. But not the actual films, different stories featuring the same characters as in the films like Star Wars and Star Trek. There are loads of famous films that were actually books first. Most people reckon the books are better than the films, but obviously they take a lot more time to consume so people opt for the film version.
Anyway, I thought to myself ‘rather than write a book that I hope gets turned into a film, like JK Rowling, and rather than writing a new story with the same characters that were in successful films. I would write a book version of a successful film’. The beauty of this is all I have to do is sit and watch a film and write down exactly what I see.
It’s targeted at people who think that books are better than films, but they’ve read all the books that have been turned into films and they don’t want to waste their time reading books that feature the same characters that are in films, but doing different stuff.
I just need to find a popular film that hasn’t been turned into a book! It’s harder than you’d think readers. Any ideas?