May 3, 2021

2: Teenangstasaurus


This episode sees us bravely digging out our embarrassing teenage poetry and sharing it shamelessly with the world. We talk about what writing we're trying to work on at the moment and end up having a jolly old chat about the worst jobs that we've had. Oh, and we set ourselves a task for next week. A task which I think literally everyone is going to regret.
 
Music by DanoSongs

Transcript

one two one two hello everybody do you like the way i said everybody as though there are loads of people listening hello this is episode two of the failing writers podcast where three failing albeit keen writers talk about writing instead of you know writing this week we tackle important subjects like teenage poetry what we did before we started writing and what we're writing now oh and dinosaurs and what jobs they'd be good at hi i'm tom i'm a failing writer i keep trying to write and then oh the bins need putting out and oh i should probably mow the lawn shouldn't i yeah maybe just chill out and watch tv oh i forgot to write again that's me hi i'm dave and i've been failing to right now for longer than jesus was alive hello i'm john i'm a failing writer i tend to write things that are too worthy and not very much fun to read so that's us the three musket writers welcome to the failing writers podcast

so uh podcasting oh my god maybe need to work on the intros a little bit there don't worry maybe we should yeah kind of gets the listener straight into it doesn't it it does should we shout the first bit just like the first 10 minutes first bit in caps yeah give me some beans so you get some good shows though where it goes on for like it's like i've been on for half an hour and then they do the opening credits you think bloody all it's only just started it's nearly finished you know that's like a really good tv drama don't you yeah where they're like reeling you in and then names just start appearing at the bottom of the screen you're like what and then it goes to an advert yeah yeah that's what's missing from this

yeah well i don't know what i actually was thinking about this the other day like i know a few people who've got small businesses um that would that would benefit from an advert that no one ever heard so we just need to target really bad businesses that aren't very good at what they do yeah and actually advertising for them to people that are actually listening yeah wouldn't be good because the the punters would just be disappointed with the end product how bad they were yeah but there'd be a synergy well it's advertising somewhere where no one is going to hear it or do anything about it won't have any negative effect on their business yeah which is an overall net positive compared with advertising if we found some businesses that just had a like maybe one department or one product that they did that they didn't really like but you know they could just try and push that one do you like cakes yes i do but are you fed up of cakes that taste too nice ah this cake is too delicious i wish there was a thoroughly average cake that tasted neither good nor bad there is come and try mrs kipling's thoroughly basic non-fancy cake buns there well then the failing writers podcast brought to you in association with mrs kipling cakes they're not bad they're not great they're just so last time we uh we said we were all going to bring some of our terrible teenage poetry tom particularly yeah i've seen it i've got it here the cover of the book so what is what is the poem and where is he from hang on sorry oh just throw something in before you before you carry on yeah uh just a thought but should we do this at the end this might be the only reason people are listening if we want them to listen to some of the podcasts we might want to leave this to the end i can't wait that long okay you know i i can't wait either to be honest no let's just just do it you can always move you can always move it to the end of the podcast can't you tell me yeah no you can always cut just cut it off halfway through the poem and then dude this stuff's going to be in the podcast is literally going to start and end with my poem that's it rest is irrelevant it's obviously quite good isn't it not really i've lost the page i haven't read it for 20 years so anyway this was in the um our world caring poetry festival 1995 um created and sponsored by the co-op you are a caring man tom so that makes sense yeah and i do like shopping at the co-op as well so it kind of it tied in very well i mean you'll notice it was around it was around the late night about 1995 where you you two will have noticed this and you probably hadn't been able to put your finger on quite why but around that time you probably felt that the world became a lot more caring i did yeah i did feel that yeah well i think a lot of that was due to the caring poetry festival yeah it started something honestly if it wasn't for the co-op caring poetry festival anthology 1995. right now we'd be staring down the barrel of climate disaster yeah environmental problems and all sorts really yeah um people not getting on with each other yeah racial problems the whole lot but yeah i very much doubt greenpeace would have existed as well so my poem was entitled just around the corner so it's really saying oh think about the future guys where is the future it's around the corner something i didn't realize until i found this book in the garage is just how short the poem is i thought it was a bit more of a yeah i think it was an epic yeah yeah anyway here are the first eight verses so do you want to hear it yes very much so tommy the only reason i'm here right right

maybe oh no i messed up maybe this is tom professional voice over artist it's very dark in here writing's very small you sound quite nervous suddenly tommy and the pages have almost turned like sepia this is 26 years old now yeah that's older than some people yeah it is and yet timeless tommy yeah well i mean probably let me read it first well that first word that's a timeless start isn't it maybe anyway the poem is still entitled just around the corner maybe they factoried in fields planted more than they ever yield maybe they cancered the lungs of timber but the coffin therein forgets to remember maybe mankind is the next dinosaur race and some supreme being will put us in place maybe to er was dinosaur and they thought this earth was their own but like us fail to realize that we're merely tenants in a temporary home

wow wow there's a lot going on there it is wow so um i mean there's no kind of there's no archaeological evidence to suggest that the dinosaurs did indeed um build factories in fields or um do any kind of nothing to say they didn't know isn't it so i suppose the t-rex is short arms that would that would be a problem building things that would make using a hoe difficult wouldn't it yeah maybe the t-rex was like the foreman maybe they were just like pointing but over there where over there stop taking the piss out of my arms i'll eat you oh bloody ellie will as well the diplodocuses they'd be good weren't they for the high stuff that yeah you wouldn't need a green living cranes yeah yeah i just realized actually that's just i think that's the opening credits to the flintstones oh yeah it's been done that way everything's been done hasn't it not successful we're just regurgitating old cartoons so i know i wrote that myself i think that's a relatively uh accessible 17 year old poem um and then i realized i i'd not really obviously had no interest in the other people that had entered the competition and been published um i was having a little flick through before this is this is for me the best one this is from leanne denton age 12 from cambridge um there's a fact obviously there's a fair chance leanne denton aged 38 will be listening to this right now which would be weird wasn't it i mean this is this is a nation it's a national competition wasn't it so i'm not sure what this one's trying to say and i think i hope leanne denton has had counselling since our world i picked a flower for you to smell i shook some leaves for you to hear i grew some grass for you to touch but you did not smell my flower but you did not hear the leaves and you did not touch my grass

end of poem

if ever there was a poem that was a cry for help yeah yeah i feel like i shouldn't read now out loud it was in the uh our world co-op caring poetry festival anthology 1995. yes and that counts as success isn't it that's more it's existing isn't it's more than me to be honest tom so so what do you think about the dinosaurs um but to er to er is dinosaur what what a line oh that was great i mean i don't think they did go er

yeah yeah so that was i guess in many ways uh the pinnacle of my writing

it was all downhill from there yeah well there we go john hello sir what's your what's your teenage poetry find moving past yours very quickly there dave yeah yeah well i i can't you know saving the best to last wow i could say that but i've got two i can't decide which one to read out i've got one oh well which one's the shortest quite bad but it's sort of quite funny and the other one is actually quite good i think oh well i think we're gonna have to hear both of those no we don't need to hear both okay uh i'm gonna start i'm to start with the bad one we will be the judge of that yeah good point yeah no they're both amazing this one was probably primarily used to uh try and woo somebody or impress them and probably failed unless so let's listen see what you think see if this seduces you see if it was us this is called vows what age were you at this at this point john uh that was a very good question i suspect i was 15 maybe younger in fact maybe hormoned up oh my god yeah

with this finger whoa

it's not a great opening i don't know it depends on the girls

with this finger i the bless and trace an arrow on your chest tipped with my fears my secret dread to poison you softly in my bed and with these tears i consecrate the beauty that i contemplate from nightfall through to morning late when secret thoughts keep me awake and with my body i thee love if love is strong enough an oath to capture you and all your charms and bind you in these grateful arms

wow wow i mean i was really feeling it wasn't i oh yeah i think we had very different childhoods um yeah i very much had echoes of um a young man sat in his bedroom by himself trying really really hard yeah yeah like really really squeezing every like ever yeah bit of sincerity out of himself it's not serious enough make it more serious use some words to make it more heartfelt and dark and serious yes yes it is don't write finger don't write finger oh i've written something very good to be honest that you managed to get fingering and breasts basically into the first two lines it is incredibly sexual isn't it it is a quite horny tom's writing about dinosaurs yeah john's writing about i can only think about one thing yeah yeah i think that did that is mainly what inhabited my thoughts uh than that it rhymed well though didn't it didn't there it was it was i had a good rhythm yeah thanks man um it was that was lovely yeah i was trying to get the vows you know i was trying to make it sound like it was some sort of religious thing i mean well i it probably did it probably did get me a little kiss or something did it i don't know honestly i can't even remember who i wrote it for which is terrible isn't it so i was much more in love with the idea yourself obviously myself yeah exactly exactly so uh so what was what's the bad one there was that the good one who no that was the bad one sorry well i always changed it now oh no no no no no that that that that was the bad one um he's writing another one now why don't you do yours don't write fingering again john come on it's this is a is again a little bit about sex but it's less about sex this one god what's wrong with you why are we not thinking about the uh industrial revolution of the of the third dinosaur triassic period yeah dinosaurs in coffins what is wrong with you uh so this one's called night song i think you're gonna like this one tommy should i be taking my pants off on hot

this

on hot and restless nights i lie and watch the vaulted twilight dye the violet black that floods the sky and from my ruffled bed i gaze through the dark to coming days that whisper through the murky haze a dustbin lid clatters trash crashes of percussion a cat sonata starts to open into a frenzied cadenza that sticks to the thick air heralding a call and response from the dogs a sudden shout trumpets out drunken bluster and cuss hell and perdition mustering up the hot knight's blood for fighting or for kissing the timpani of distant thunder rolls and then a bus grumbles home and the last base note resolves i think of you your window wide hearing the night in synchrony with me and fall asleep with the sounds of us of all that is to come out there of your whisper and your breath in my ear and only wake up to that same blue song kissing me from the radio

see another uh quite uh quite sincere quite intense yeah very intense

did you did you shout that through some girl's window i don't know if it'd have the same um being shouted i don't know if it'd have this really the same depth of feeling in it i think it might take something away from me it changes the intensity

that was not nearly as bad as i thought it was going to be that sound it sounded like an actual poem didn't it i was a little bit older that one i think i was doing my a level right i wrote that oh probably too old to still be writing poetry no some of the best bad poetry is written it comes out around that age 17 yeah what did you do with that do you remember no did you uh i did absolutely nothing with it i did show it to my english teacher and and she entered it for a competition my teacher just wrote bad things all over mine no my teacher was very nice about it which is why the only reason i kept it because i only i've literally got two poems that i could wow so he kept the best ones just destroyed all other evidence that that puts it into some kind of perspective doesn't it it does doesn't it it really does it really does anyone looking but see i should anyone looking back at you will think wow he is

yeah if anything he's gone downhill since then yeah two for 30 years he only managed two poems but they were both they both rhymed really well quite high brow yeah absolutely 17. there's some words i didn't understand in there what was the one in the middle i understood cadenza was a cadenza a cadenza it's a it's a musical uh term i think it means like a i'm going to make a fool of myself now i think it's like a really elaborate song oh he's going to make a fool of himself now not three minutes ago when he was playing for when he was 16. yes i think it i think it's an elaborate solo voxel voxel cadenza

oh well yeah well very very very good well done hey thanks guys it feels a bit weird congratulating your teenage self on those now all these yeah well done joe yeah well done yeah congratulations keep plugging it it's lovely to get some feedback finally yeah keep going with it yeah um i think you were well see they're both both they're quite high brow uh tom with his dinosaurs expecting dave to come with something that's like really like mr plinky had the blankie uppity

it's not it's not limerick although uh pamela's might have been proud of it at some point okay right in her career nice um i like a bit of power but it is about it's about um love i suppose it is and teenage foreign and give us an age just before you read it uh 16 or 17. i think i read this to my teeter as well because i got it did you fancied her no no not that one um she looked a bit like rambo um but yeah no this was the one was in that paid for anthology that i didn't pay for and therefore don't have a copy of um but this was this was the best i could manage it sort of 16 17.

saturday night it's called saturday night by dave baird aged 17.

saturday night he loved it it made his planet shake she stared up at the ceiling trying hard to stay awake the excitement made him shake and scream a blood rush to his head even she felt some vibrations through the fibers of the bed alas they weren't from loverboy being vibrant supersonic she'd pressed a button on the wall the bed was electronic there's something that men try to teach but women don't know still even sex comes second best if united win 3-0 for women through the ages out to go without foreplay i'm sure that even romeo paused to watch match of the day and next on radio 4 it's the forecast

i like it enjoyed that day well yeah i mean it rhymes as well didn't it we've all managed that good rhythm we all wrote stuff that rhymed and um what more can you ask you're listening to the failing writers podcast a podcast about failing to write

so chaps have you been writing this week i have actually uh yeah i have i've written i've written some things this week i've written a few chapters a few chapters you chapters yeah is it a kids book what it might be a kid's book by the time i finish but essentially right it's uh it's a book that my dad wrote explain like 30 years ago and i i don't know maybe unwisely have decided to take on the challenge of of rewriting it and re reworking it for a modern audience wow that's fascinating actually dave it is i know what it's so ba is what's weird about it is that when my dad was writing it he was about the age that i am now and i and i remember sort of sitting in the living room as a kid saying what's dad doing and then would say oh he's um he's writing his book and dad would just be living dining room table with all these notebooks everywhere i was like oh wow he's writing a book it's gonna be amazing is he saying um i've not actually written anything today but i just need to find the right place to put my coffee and pretty much yeah yeah and oh god do you know around that time dave in your house in your childhood house did you notice a lot of pictures and things going up on the wall yeah bits of the bathroom getting filled doorways moving uh that sort of thing but yeah so he wrote this book and then i think my mum typed it up because she had a secretarial you know qualification from when she was a teenager so she typed it up and i remember reading it in the sixth form and thinking this is actually quite good and then 30 years later my dad sent it to me again and i read it again i was like do you know what there's something something in this i'm going to try and uh and sort of you know rewrite it but it's taken me a couple of years to get to this point i'm not rushing things this would be a fantastic like family tradition wouldn't it so just keep passing down this book to update it bring it on just keep passing it along in many ways it's the ultimate realization of what this podcast is all about it's not just i'm not finishing stuff several generations of my family have failed to finish the same heirloom yeah how much of it better you actually having to adjust or change are you working quite a lot from scratch and basic idea or are you using some of the actual language i'm using some of the actual language but a lot of it has been i'm adding scenes and taking some scenes out and rearranging stuff um because the action sort of it happens over a long so some of it takes place in the first world war and some of it takes place in 1989 um and i'm sort of cutting back between the two but yeah are you allowed to give us like an elevator pitch of the storm ah well it's it's sort of part war story park coming of age and part supernatural thriller oh wow spread over the decades yeah the basic premise is that um on the 11th of the 11th uh on remembrance day the sort of spirits of those who died in the war um can sort of come back and and interact with real people good premise uh yeah yeah that's a lovely promise um that's what i've been working on but it's quite hard it's hard because like i i sort of i want to keep as much as possible of what dad did but then there's some bits where it's really you know it make more sense if i just chop it out and it feels weird to just yes in many ways yes but it just feels weird to like take stuff that dad worked on so for so many years and just go right we'll just get rid of that bit like even if it it's the best decision for the story it's the question i've got there is that is that it's harder than editing your own stuff uh yes i think it is bloody hard taking your own stuff out isn't it exactly yeah it is harder because like every time i cut something out there's a bit of me that sees my dad reading that section of the book and going oh i like that bit what's the what's the point of doing it though if i'm not gonna try and make it the best it would uh it would be does your family know that you're doing this yes yeah i told my dad what i'm doing and he said you know just do whatever with it because you know just do whatever with it get your mum to type it up when you're done exactly yeah we got a typewriter so when you normally go back and edit something when you've written it you have bits that you never put in in the first place that are still in the back of your mind yeah when you're editing someone else's stuff and you and you're taking out a big chunk it's all new stuff that goes in you've got none of the oh yeah i was going to have him do that you've got one of that to fall back on it's like all must be quite hard work it is hard work because you also don't have like there's a lot of guess work about like obviously i can see what my dad wrote but i can't i can't sort of see what he was thinking at the time what the actual intention yeah what's at that point but then i guess that's why you end up adding something to it uh yes hopefully well hope that's the idea but i have added quite a lot to try and see the problem was it sort of uh it started off in 1989 and then it jumped back to 1914 and it stayed there for about 90 pages and then it came back to 1989 and what i was what i wanted to do was to try to sort of cut back so alternate chapters so one chapter in 89 and then go back to the war and then come back to now so it just meant taking each little bit and rearranging it to try and create that and then that meant adding new bits to make it all make sense and keep the sort of narrative flow and then to sort of taking other bits out that didn't necessarily need to be in there um so but i think i'm i'm like over halfway with it now i'm looking forward to getting it finished because i want to write there's some other stuff that i want to write as well but i keep saying no i've got to get this done first get this done and out the way and then you know on we go you've not come across any awkward um erotic sex scenes that you had written then no no no not yet not unless there was like a subtext um doesn't i don't think he wrote the word finger anywhere in the maybe someone got their finger blown off by a mills bomb or something that's not quite the same is it but uh there's a bit of swearing though i wasn't quite expecting that i wasn't i hadn't remembered so because my dad i never really heard my dad swear very much and then suddenly it's all there written down and you go oh that bad that's what it must have been like on the building site and what about writing style is are you trying to fit in is there a a gap between your style or anything like in terms of voice a little bit yeah i'm trying i'm trying to so what i'm trying to do because my dad is sort of quite the military historian so the bits that are set back in the first world war i'm trying to keep that as much as he wrote them as possible whereas i'm sort of focusing more on the 1989 bits yeah trying to sort of you know link it all together i think it's it's like there's maybe a slightly different voice between the two but hopefully it should all come together i think when it all joins up well that's jolly interesting dave yeah that is genuinely interesting and has no place whatsoever on this podcast i know well but yeah but i haven't finished it so you know we'll come back that's true in a year's time and see how it's going but very good it's also a very nice story isn't it i mean if you're going to sell something you always need a story that encapsulates yeah that's a nice little story exactly another reason exactly i have thought that that's like another reason to try and get it finished because there's only a limited time where i can use the story i'm the same age as my dad was when he originally wrote it like when if i'm still writing this when i'm 60 uh i can't use that anymore so yeah so you know it's so i'm trying to get finished because i think that is quite a sort of nice angle isn't it to sort of try and push something yeah you know written it's a story that spans generations and it's written over generations as well wow two members of the same family make a complete pig's ear writing a book thirty years apart i've actually got good news i uh i have been writing and i i think this podcast has actually helped me good it's nice isn't it that's the whole that's the whole time it has actually helped i had to negotiate with my wife it uh it was quite successful a little chat as you know tom you've uh you've seen me negotiating before you've seen my skills yeah it was never one of stronger suits was it no i prefer to roll over yeah people walk all over me but uh yeah we go i negotiated a couple of hours a day i've got i've got two hours of guaranteed writing time every day which is what we were talking about you need you need time every day plus you know plus other time if i can find it during the day but yeah but that's guaranteed have you used any of it yet or have you just got the times there it's there no i've i have actually been using it yeah i've been writing i'm trying to finish a short story at the moment i mean i'm in a uh one of those gnarly little bits at the moment oh keep falling asleep i genuinely have already fallen asleep for a couple of times but um i'm getting there i've i've i think i've i think i've unknotted uh particularly uh yeah tricky bit those are the easiest bits to walk away from and never go back exactly yeah oh yeah yeah can't do it it doesn't work if this can't be resolved you've painted yourself into a corner and it's just easier to go yep fine i'll start a new story then i've got a great idea for another story yeah soju lot i've yeah it's very easy to do that to just think is this with this you can't negotiate past this well john couldn't john couldn't negotiate past this couldn't negotiate himself of a wet paper bag

but yeah no you keep going yeah i will struggling through one of those one of those i told katie that was going down to right what i was actually doing was just sort of staring into space so i probably wrote a paragraph in the like two hours but having written that paragraph i've actually found the way of getting beyond it and moving on so that's there it is yes and they're they're lovely moments brilliant do you feel quite elated yes yeah it's it is a nice feeling when you suddenly just go i had one the other night when uh the sort of stereotypical woke up in the middle of the night and went ah that's the solution um and yeah i had to sort of get up and write it down which is tricky because i blinded a bat and i couldn't find my glasses and i couldn't find a pencil and i was thinking i'm going to forget this if i don't do it quickly yeah uh could i switch it did it make sense in the cold light of day it did it did it sometimes those midnight ramblings yeah those great ideas yeah they're only connecting in a half awake space don't they yeah that's good that's good yeah well i've not written anything this week the the podcast has helped me feel more guilty about not writing i guess that's the first step isn't it that's a start yeah so yeah i think i need to set some time aside i'll just write some more poems about dinosaurs building factories it'd be fine yeah yeah absolutely fine and i i was wondering if um if it wouldn't be a good idea to talk a little bit about how we sort of met and how we worked as copywriters because i sort of i remember when i started as a copywriter in radio the sort of the idea was that this oh brilliant i've got a job as a writer now i can use my spare time to actually be a proper writer but that that never sort of worked out was it the same for you guys did you did you ever did you want to get a job as a writer did you sort of fall into it you know i i always thought i was going to get a job as a writer and for years i thought i wanted to be a journalist because that's the only job i knew where writing existed getting paid to write stuff yeah and then kind of fell into the advertising thing but it certainly suited my uh short attention span and love of cheap jokes right writing nothing longer than 30 seconds yeah it's quite squeezing it down but making it work it does make you quite good at brevity doesn't it it makes you good at editing yes it does i think it's good it's a good uh schooling for that i always used to tell myself you know this is good this is good training when when i eventually get around to writing the properties you had you had that dream back then buddy i did i always i always wanted to be right that's the only thing i have ever wanted to do from from the moment i realized i wasn't going to be an international footballer so quite early on yeah when the ingrown toenail kicked in and i thought i'm never going to play for england now uh i thought the only thing i've ever wanted to do was be a writer but like it's difficult you can't really go what you can't apply for a job as a right you can't write to the bbc and say i would like a job as a writer please and they go here you go here's a commission for a six-pack sitcom it doesn't really work like that's right you're in a catch-22 from the start aren't you you have to write in order to become a writer yes but you have to have the time in order to be able to write well that was the thing so when when this sort of job came up copywriting job um and i i genuinely thought right i'll do this for six months and then i'll be discovered i'll get sacked and i'll have to do something i'll go on the bins uh but i thought no i did this for six months and then finally my talent will shine through and i'll get a proper writing job in the meantime i can i can write at night now that i'm earning some money um but yeah the sort of the job of of writing and you do think right i'm getting i'm training i'm working as a writer i'm developing my tool kit and all this sort of bollocks but the reality is when you've been working as a writer all day the last thing i wanted to do was go home and start trying to write something else yeah that's what the guy that came around did the plastering said he's a plasterer and tyler and he said the last thing he wants to do at night he's going to stop it was just at the start of all the all the lockdowns and stuff and he was like oh god i'm gonna have to do all the stuff at home now because he's not donating because his house is a [ __ ] tip basically just bare walls yeah throughout he's written three novels swings and roundabouts isn't it yeah i suppose so no it's true though i think it comes back to this thing where where writing is not 100 fun is it it's not a fun fun thing to do no it's enjoyable but in the same way that going for a hard run can be enjoyable or walking up a steep hill it isn't that much fun yeah completing yeah having having done it having done it is much more fun than actually doing it but but what about you did you so when you started writing ads lads was that part of the plan was it a plan to be to be a paid writer or it wasn't for me i was just i was just pleased to be getting paid for anything at that stage i think yeah and i don't think i thought about it what about you tom were you uh did you harbor it not really no i think it's always i i'd always harboured a little um not not as full-time as dave um but um that old adage that you know everyone's got a book in them that it might just happen organically at some point it just sort of just that it would just kind of fall without holding a pen long enough eventually you'll you'll write some words down i would see you know it was always a bit more like you know the women that end up getting pregnant but don't realize

i thought it was going to be similar to that i'd just be writing and just kind of be messy and then go oh my god look i've actually written a novel here but um it didn't work like that it doesn't really is it better did you know what you wanted to write did you want to write sitcoms um yeah no it was always comedy i was wanting to write sitcoms or comedy sketches that sort of thing dave you should try writing some comedy then maybe i should shouldn't rather than this all this serious hard banks my god why don't you write something funny oh wow it just never occurs to me but yeah that was that was always the plan um because i was working at galaxy for a while and i think it was i don't know if it was before you started there john but i did i got a sketch that i wrote was made by the bbc as part of like a sketch right this is the scottish one no no this was before all that so before that there was like a okay 2001 i think it was there was a uh a competition submit sketches and there they picked i was like shortlisted to the last 12 and then they made this when the bbc had money to do this they just made all 12 of the shortlisted sketches and then they put them up online but this was in the days when of like dial up so nobody could actually watch them because he couldn't watch a video online um and then it was like open to a vote to see which one won and again going back to the problem of me not being very popular or knowing anybody uh i didn't get any votes but i so i got to see something that i'd written be made um that's cool so but that was 2001 and my biggest problem was never capitalizing on anything that happened like never going right i've done that i should i should do something off the back of it i think that's important isn't it get them momentum going yeah rather than going right i've done that i'll just sit down for three or four years and then do something else do you do you have a copy of that no i've been looking for it because like i said i couldn't i can't even remember how i saw it actually download it with your dialogue or maybe i'd sort of downloaded it at work and then couldn't get it but i saw it once um it wasn't again it wasn't exactly as i'd written it but uh it was i thought it was quite good so the basic premise was about um you know those movies where there's like a cop like um dirty harry or whatever it's trying to get information and a guy goes i don't know my memory ain't so good as it used to be and then he gives him like a tenner and he goes yeah yeah i know the guy um this was that but in a hospital it was someone asking how their family member was and the doctor was going ah my memory ain't so good as it used to be and then they give him 10 quid yeah he's uh we just operated on him he's like is he gonna survive well i couldn't really say and then they give him another tenor yeah yeah he'll be fine but yeah so i saw that that was quite it was quite good and then um i never did anything else but then when you did start writing sketches and you wrote the the one for the scottish scottish play

we should cause the scottish sketch we don't mention it um but presumably you wrote more than one oh yeah yeah right you were writing i was writing stuff yeah but just and that just happened to be a good one they were just they just stay i put them where they still are now sat in a on a floppy disk somewhere underneath my computer but yeah i've written loads of sketches over the years just very few of them have ever seen the light of day and tommy can i ask you a question if you were to write some if you were to give yourself the time and actually bother to sit down and write this is already making me feel a bit uncomfortable yes i know you you wrote your little sort of parody book um but what a patronizing way of describing it oh no you wrote your little

oh well you've written your little parody book you've written your silly little parody book now how are you your toilet book now it's time to get married and get a proper job i'm not dis i like that book a lot so i'm not this in the book yeah uh yeah what would you what would you uh want to move on to well uh i did i've got the first two and a half chapters of a novel knocking around from how long well i was gonna say before when we talked about when we were working in radio and and whether we wanted to be like proper writers and stuff and i remember i remember saying i've had this idea for uh writing a book so that i would guesstimate that was probably 2004. so yeah no i probably i mean that's an idea i've had that it still seems like a good idea well so i need to get on with it then just writing now right third chapter yeah it's a big step that wasn't it you two wrote uh i seem to remember reading an episode of something that you two wrote a long time ago that was very good john just gave up on it wasn't it about was it a door-to-door salesman or something no it was um it was a sit-down like a chain of changing rooms ah yeah that's it but you also got to see behind the scenes silly a silly little parody

it was just a pretty little bastard of a pastiche dave disgusting little script but i seem to remember it being quite good it was very funny in places yeah well i just petered out didn't it we just never picked it up i mean that was a long time ago as well there's a bit of a theme emerging here do you think the do you think the characters were a bit too closely based on actual the actual presenters of changing rooms lawrence llewellyn beverly legal problem further down the line harold frowny why why would that be even handymandy it was actually a man called andy no they weren't that close no they weren't there's not much width is there in terms of the scope of presenters on those programs of great ground force and changing rooms and whose room is it anyway or whatever was it a mockumentaries yeah yeah yeah it was wasn't it because it was yeah that was all in vogue yeah it was i just remember there were some really good jokes in there i'm not sure about the rest of it but um there were some really really sharp humorous jokes in there yeah that probably wouldn't stand the test of time if we actually [ __ ] read them now yeah i remember them being really good some things some things are better as memories but i'm sure all that stuff is just you know it's good practice isn't it lays the groundwork yeah exactly it's all experienced it's good to see where you've gone yeah but yeah i know that's the reason for this podcast existing their focus has to be to actually commit to actually writing something not just silly silly little things important silly little pointless things but really world-changing novels because we do we do know some people from this from the copywriting world who have actually finished things and transitioned to being problems yeah stuff yeah real things successful people i mean i've not seen any of them on jonathan ross so i'm not sure whether you can truly say they've done anything but yeah do you think they'd come on the show well i don't i think they'd be fools not to wouldn't they just for their own uh pr and for the publicity yeah just the exposure that they get maybe three get three more readers no yeah um yeah oh would you actually have to read this stuff well we could promise we would read it wouldn't we but but we should we could ask they could only say no and we're very used to being told no so yeah see what that would be interesting though wouldn't it see what their how they did it how much time they gave to it whether it was like a massive commitment or was just something that happened like one of those women that gets pregnant and doesn't realize it yeah um where they got the break from whether it was look whether they kind of had to how many rejections they probably like it's probably luck i think it will be just putting it out mostly yeah yeah um but yeah they could come on and they could tell us all the things that they do differently to us in order to be successful and we can then just dismiss that out of hand and carry on much as if before because what if they say something like yeah i went round all the publishers in london and literally sat on their doorstep and i talked to them all and you know got meetings with them and it took three years but you know eventually i made friends with them and took them out for lunch well i guess we just have to accept we are failing writers and uh i'd be happy that we chose the right name for the podcast so there

well thank you for listening to the failing writers podcast well done if you made it to the end without fast forwarding you probably did fast forward through a few bits it's fine it's fine it's fine join us next time for more writing shenanigans i found a bogey up my nose best place for her i suppose

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