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June 17, 2008 - Wes Burns
Writing is a hard job. Not to trumpet my own achievements but being a professional writer is challenging. First you have to contend with the fact that everyone that has completed a college level English course thinks they're a writer. I have an old professor that would argue that every person is a writer if they write; on an objective, “every snowflake is unique" level this is true but not so much in practice. So you have a lot of positions that are a bit clogged with applicants that are trying to decide between a career in writing and finally finishing up that data entry degree; this can slow down the process for everybody involved.
Oh, if only the people who assumed they were talented were the only problem! The glut of actually talented writers in America is expansive; this does nothing to ease the burden of writing professionally. While competing with sub-par authors and “weekend novelists” may be taxing competing with legitimate authors with skill and wit is untoward.
Diligence is the watchword for writers. If you give up you'll just end up as another guy in the office that always asks people if they've read the original book instead of just seeing the movie. It was with great joy and elation that tonight I escaped the unfathomable horrors of that fate and broke through the final barrier separating myself from the great writers of our time. Tonight, for the first time ever, my words were read aloud on television.
Maybe not read aloud, per se, but definitely displayed. Let me explain. Ever heard of G4, the cable network? For the overwhelming majority of you that have no idea G4 is similar to the Spike TV network but with a serious injection of geeky elements. And I don't mean your run of the mill geeky stuff, this channel has ninja competitions and cartoons designed to look like old Nintendo games. Continuing in the vein of geekiness they replay a hallmark American program, Cops, with a decidedly geekish twist.
Cops is a good time; crazy busts, chases and the cavalcade of crazies that encounter the police is always good for a hearty, if not slightly cruel, laugh. G4 shows Cops 2.0, which is just regular Cops but with a “high tech scroll” on the bottom that lists advice from police, trivia questions and other info.
Included in the “other info”? Chat comments. LIVE chat comments. Posting under an assumed name (for privacy's sake I won't reveal what name) I quickly began to answer the posted questions. Amidst the flurry of literally dozens of other potential posters I gave erudite and pithy responses to such queries as “What type of equipment would you bring to a raid?” (smoke bombs, pick ax, fingerless gloves) and “what do you hate about your job?” (the hours, the way my hair always get stuck, the lawsuits). Before you ask the answers were gibberish; rare is the occasion where my hair becomes lodged while blogging.
I was quickly becoming the prominent poster on G4's Cops 2.0. As I watched my witty rejoinders fill the bottom quarter of the screen I knew that my life had changed. For better or worse I have now been thrust into the high stakes world of television writing. As I eagerly await my next great writing challenge I say this to the writers out there: diligence. Your time will come; mine certainly did. Now if you'll excuse me they're about to wrestle a shirtless man to the ground and I need to address it.
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