Polite Decline

I shouldn’t be turning down writing jobs.

I should probably be taking any kind of job put my way as long as it involves putting pen to paper and fingers to keyboard.

Why then have I said no to an offer?

Those who have followed this blog for a while will know that about a year ago I dusted off the script to an old film I made on art college called ‘Le Telephono’ in which a man answers a passing callbox and is told the best joke in the world before trying to turn it into a industry. I thought it would be good to see if it could be made to the same professional level as ‘Robotics’ has been. Bear in mind that I’ve always seen myself as a writer first and a filmmaker second. A couple of people read through it, mostly didn’t see any value in it and the matter went no further until the other day.

One of those readers sent me a direct message on Shooting People asking if I would be interested in writing a 50 page eBook. It was an idea which made me raise an eyebrow, part of the mission for 2014 was to get back into writing fiction with the possibility of publishing online so I asked for more details. Once again the general rule of not getting too excited reared up again.

The email came back saying he was ‘publishing ebooks on the brand ‘inspirational stories’ inspired from the 40 million cases a year on mental health and child abuse‘. Firstly I thought about asking a few more questions as this description wasn’t that clear at all to me. I’m unsure as to putting both mental health and child abuse together in one thing and also not knowing if it was supposed to be a fictional story on those themes or something factual based on a particular case. The more I thought about it the more I thought both cases would result in me declining the job. I’m using the term ‘job’ in this post but that would infer getting money for doing it, a matter which we won’t get around to discuss even if it was on offer in the first place.

I’m just not comfortable writing about child abuse and mental illness especially not when I haven’t written any fiction in years and am looking to break back into the stride. I cannot think of any way of approaching something like that and not trivialising it in the worst possible way. Such things do not need me to go in there and try to make something entertaining out of it. I wish this producer the very best of luck with the project but I don’t see how I could do anything that will help him.

It’s now filed under ‘a nice idea until I saw the details’.

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