Friday, 12 December 2008

Thanks for all the fish.

Something's been bothering me.

You might have noticed that I didn't have much to say about my EastEnders experiences. And that I got through an episode of Holby City with scarcely a single blog entry.

In fact, I've said nothing much of any interest for a while.

There is a reason for this.

It isn't that my experiences on those two shows were so awful that I couldn't write about them. Far from it.

It's because I'm beginning to think it's no longer appropriate. Maybe even that it's not very "professional". There, I said it.

This Blog has been all about me - my attempts to break into the industry. And hopefully it has been useful reading for others in the same boat.

But this isn't a private discussion over a beer in The Dover Castle. It's a public blog. And, increasingly, I'm finding that I have a wider readership than I ever expected to get. I'll introduce myself to someone in the industry and they'll say "Ah, Scriptuality". Or "I like your shed". Or "how are the kids?"

Well, I don't mind that. It's quite fun. And it raises my profile as a writer (though not always in a positive light).

But sometimes I put myself in the position of a script editor asked to work with a writer who's a blogger. How happy would I be at the idea that all the ups and downs in the relationship, all the inevitable frustrations of hammering out a TV script are put up on the web for all to see?

OK, so I don't name names. But everyone else who works with them knows who they are.

And, genuinely, I have been extremely lucky to have had a succession of lovely, wonderful script editors on the shows I've worked on so far. And not one of them has ever complained about my blogging. Thank you, one and all. From time to time I might have disagreed with a note or two, but you have taught me so much.

I don't know whether blogging about the work we've done together has always been entirely fair. If it ever felt awkward, thank you for hiding it so well. And, I'm sorry.

But one of these days I'm going to be unlucky. I'm going to get a script editor who I just don't get on with. Or someone who takes every comment I might make personally.

So, I have come to a decision - no more running commentary.

I'll still pop up from time to time to let anyone who's still interested know what I'm up to. And I might comment on general writing issues. But no more heart-on-my-sleeve descriptions of the inner workings of TV scriptwriting. Sorry.

It's been fun.


David Bishop said...

It's a shame but perfectly understandable. You're no longer an aspiring TV writer - you are a TV writer [take a bow! stop pinching yourself!]. So the original purpose of this blog has been superceded.

It's notable on blogs of emerging writers that the closer they get to their goal, the less they blog about it. Not because they're too busy [although that's a factor], but because they don't feel comfortable disclosing commerically sensitive information that could jeopardise their careers.

I suspect there's a generation of bloggers who will gradually retire their blogs for this reason.

The alternative is start a new, anonymous blog as a place to vent [potentially dangerous] or transform your blog into a more personal than professional journal.

Congratulations on reaching that point in your career!

Anonymous said...

Did I miss something? Since when did this blog 'spill the beans'? It's always been tactful and safe, as far as I can see.

Paul Campbell said...

Thanks, David. That's about the long and the short of it.

Hi Anon. Yeah, you're right. Maybe those were the posts I wanted to write! My worry was not so much what I have written, but what the people I work with might think I might write.

David Lemon said...

Hi Paul
fair enough. While I agree with Anon that you've been informative but discreet, there is always the danger of anything you write being taken out of context, or putting down something in the heat of the moment and regretting it.
And yes, what's said at The Dover Castle stays at the Dover Castle (I hope...!)

wcdixon said...

Interesting dilemma...perhaps you just need a bit time to take a breath.

I know I went through a phase of worrying about what people either were thinking or might think (especially as more and more social conversations began with: "And you better not write about this in your blog!"), but eventually carried on when I realized that the pleasure obtained and the respect and contacts gained by blogging surpassed me keeping mum, so to speak.

Hope you find a happy middle ground.

Mikey Dred said...

Just write about something else, like the idiots on trains who spend the whole journey packing and unpacking their suitcases!!

Mikey Dred said...

Though I dont have your wide audience problem as no one reads mine!!

C said...

All in all, I'd say that's a nice dilemma to have, Paul. Congratulations on having to bite your lip!


Schmucks with Underwoods said...

Mmmh. I am quite open and rant and moan about the ups and downs of the biz but I keep mine anonymous so I think I'm okay. I hope no-one joins the dots though. That would be embarrasing! Yikes!