and one hole in the sock
Josephine and I are both in the invidious position of chairwarming in academia while attempting to project an air of permanence. Students are convinced by default that we are always there and always have been and will be forever more. Little do they know that the university clicks us on and off as needs be.
We are also therefore in the inveigulous position of looking for the next chance to come along. As writers in the academy we labour under an assumption that we have ‘made it’ – that is, we have been such a major success that we now ‘rest on our laurels’ and dispense wisdom to others. Really? I’ve been known to rest on my glasses, or on the cat, but the laurel is one dead metaphor I cannot own. And the wisdom bit is debatable…
What we are really doing in trying to market our work and ourselves as quietly as we can. My latest ploy is to claim to use marketing as an academic exercise, ie ‘I will just attempt to interest agents/producers/the cleaner in this script I happened to write specifically for experimental purposes’ and then I will write a paper on it (not joking – gotta make the most of it). Failure is definitely an option here, if only as a control to what is undoubtedly my default position of aforementioned ‘major success’.
So, this is the first of what might be an ongoing (and possibly very, very long) set of posts in ‘how to’ or ‘how not to’ flog a creative work.
And let’s begin with the death of radio drama
I’ve recently discovered that I will be teaching the writing of radio drama. This is good, but also not so much good. Good because I have a dirty great radio play all done – written, performed, produced and edited – so I can claim a measure of expertise. ‘Not so much…’ because radio drama has just been executed in this country. They poked it. It was dead. So, no more radio drama on the ABC. As a writing discipline however, radio drama is about as good as it gets. I would contend that learning to write drama for radio is the best writing lesson you can get.
So now we have a fine piece of product all set to go, but no market. Obvious answer – I think we’ll Toob it.
And end with things a little less dead
So now I am also attempting to flog the film script of Owl Song. I will begin with a lesson on the importance of the Synopsis… soonish.