Writer or Rockstar?

According to the Guardian, a new YouGov poll suggests that writer is the most wanted job in the UK, closely followed by among other things, event organiser. Meaning I kind of have the two most wanted jobs in the UK.

I’m not sure how event organiser got on there. Its hard work, incredibly stressful and the rewards are limited. Maybe they mean organising proper events like international trade fairs and party political conventions. Maybe thats more fun than book launches and writing weekends, I’m sure its harder work.

The writing answer I can understand, but given that YouGov was set up with the explicit purpose of fabricating an opinion poll lead for the Tories at the election before last you have to question the validity of anything that comes from them. In this case I would guess that most participants would use the terms ‘Writer’ and ‘Middle Class Hero’ fairly interchangeably. Maybe I’m just a bitter old genre reader but I can’t shake the feeling that writing in this case is more about social climbing than either art or craft.

And then lo and behold my suspicions were confirmed by encountering this junior Guardianista’s weak ass attack on multi-millionaire novelist Stephen King. Hating Stephen King is such a article of faith amongst second rate literati wannabes that I’m amazed anyone would identify themselves as such by doing it. How much more surprising would it be to read a Guardian article seriously measuring a writer like King against acclaimed literary figures like Updike or DeLilo? So much more that if I ever do see such a thing in the Guardian I will find a hat, claim it as my own and then eat it.

Published by Damien Walter

Writer and storyteller. Contributor to The Guardian, Independent, BBC, Wired, Buzzfeed and Aeon magazine. Special forces librarian (retired). Teaches the Rhetoric of Story to over 35,000 students worldwide.

2 thoughts on “Writer or Rockstar?

  1. Indeed. I think I’m saved from actual hat eating by the lack of any comparison to Updike, but it comes close enough that I will have to find something less chewy and better seasoned to consume.

    And thanks for not agreeing with me about the Booker. I would have so much less entertainment if people started siding with my overly opinionated positions.



Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s