I'm delighted to be able to tell you (if you hadn't heard already) that I am now officially a newspaper columnist! My new column, "Stay At Home Dad" began in the Oxford Mail last Friday.
Now as you know, I've written literally miles of material on this subject already - enough to fill two books (amongst all the unrelated ramblings) but there is never any shortage of material. Every day of being a parent brings new experiences, new challenges, and new moments of joy. Already I have had lots of positive feedback from the new column - both from those of you I know, and also from those I don't, which is really positive. Support from friends and family is fantastic but when it comes in from people you don't know, you really know that your work is being enjoyed by the wider audience.
There is plenty still to be written on the subject of parenting and I'm hoping the column is set to run and run. Who knows where it might lead? For other writers out there, I really must say that perseverance does pay off. If you believe in your talent for writing, you must take every opportunity to try and get yourself noticed. Publicity is very important. After all, you could be the next J.K. Rowling but if nobody knows who you are, you'll never be discovered.
It is really nice to be finally earning regular money as a paid writer and it is very much where my aspirations lie. My career is very much in transition right now. Much as I have enjoyed the past six years of running the DJ business, the time feels right now to begin to step away from that and pursue the writing career I have always wanted. Discos and karaoke nights have served me well, but my heart has gone out of it and it's time to move aside and allow the younger generation of DJ's to take over. I guess if I was a famous radio DJ, this decision may well have been made for me by now. I am just about at the age when a DJ lingering on Radio One past his sell by date needs to jump before he's pushed and either find a new career or fade away slowly on "Radio Quiet" which is what happened to Smashie and Nicey in a famous Harry Enfield sketch.
The future with regard to writing is looking very promising. I have already had some other tentative enquiries for some one off writing features, so perhaps 2014 will be the year things take off. I'm not at all publicity shy as you know from all the sausage exploits. Whilst I didn't get paid for any of the sausage features I did, it was all helping to get me noticed, and I know the write ups I did on this blog were very well received. So perhaps some paid writing on the food front may come my way. I could certainly fancy myself as a bit of a food critic - already you've seen some of my restaurant reviews on this blog, and it is no co-incidence that I wrote them. I see this blog as a place where I can showcase my range of writing talents and by writing such things, I may just get commissioned by someone who wants such a piece for their publication.
So you need not fear that this blog will disappear if lots of writing work comes my way - I will always have time to write here. I need an outlet somewhere for some of the crazy ideas and flights of fancy that come into my mind from time to time - from fake problem pages to spoof letters to strange altar ego characters that would never get commissioned in a million years - I have to have somewhere to get these ramblings down in print.
Speaking of my "characters", my long term blog fan and friend, Helen, was very impressed by my Downton Abbey gatecrasher that I recently introduced and has even come up with a nickname for him, "Serial Drama Sid". To recap, Sid infiltrates TV programs as they are being broadcast and completely disrupts the plot. He is played by me, but in a more scruffy and uncouth manner than the real me (if such a thing is possible).
I'm still watching Series 3 of Downton and can't watch an episode now without imagining Sid coming crashing in at some point. The episode I watched last week was the one where Lady Edith got jilted at the altar by that posh geezer who used to be in Cold Feet.
To my knowledge this sort of thing does not happen very often in real life, but in TV land it is a regular occurrence. Not only is there all that food and drink waiting to be eaten but what about the DJ - enter serial drama Syd.
So, there are the cast in the hall, panicking about what to do next when suddenly I come crashing in through the front doors carrying a large speaker and come face to face with Lord Grantham.
"Alright Squire, I'm the DJ for the wedding reception. Where do you want me to set up mate?
What do you mean it's cancelled? I downloaded "Agadoo" especially for this! Isobel said it was Cousin Violet's favourite song. You owe me 250 quid.
Blimey look at all that food! What are you going to do with all that? It's not going to waste is it? Let's have a butchers! Hmmm...bit posh innit? Got any cheese footballs?".
I definitely think that it is time Serial Drama Sid got his own TV series. How about it Channel 4?
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