A Writer’s Monologue… (An Alan Bennett inspired short story)


“The pen is more mighty than the sword” or at least that is what I think anyway. I say it so much it may as well be my phrase. I told Barry that over a drink last week, he had lager I had scotch, on the rocks. He said I was a funny guy when I try, so I said yes but I don’t really, only to make him laugh again. He started banging on about that job of his and how he had just got into this business thingy with a lot of buying and selling lots of products, I’m not too sure on the details but it all seemed like a great idea. He appears to be on his way to making his first million.

Me on the other hand I should have made mine a long time ago, I’m a literary man myself but these publishers don’t seem to know a great story when they see one. I keep on trying every one I can. It’s a murder mystery but with a twist as it’s in the sixties when no one knew what was what. Anyway you always hear of loads of famous and successful authors being turned down. JK Rowling didn’t get published for ages and now look at her! She’s been earning so much that she doesn’t know what to do with it.

Barry said that too much money is a terrible thing, for everyone else that is. She may be a talented writer but she is not that different from the rest of us. I hear she suffered great depression before and during the writing of the first book. It is common knowledge that great writers suffer great sadness. Unfortunately I have not suffered depression first hand but I am always looking around for an insight. I recently went to a funeral and tried to absorb all the emotions that were drifting around. Afterwards I walked up to the vicar and said “It’s all very difficult isn’t it.” He looked at me and asked me how I knew the man. I said I’d met him once or twice.

When I got home I grabbed my laptop computer and brought it to the local starbucks; my little writing grotto, and ordered a cappuccino and sat down to work. I always feel important when I sit down to write in a public place, it makes me look like a seasoned professional, which I am of course.

I didn’t always know I was going to be a writer, the thing that sparked it off was when I was about eight or nine and I won a short story competition at my primary school, well I didn’t win but I came second but everyone said I should have won. I remember it clearly; it was about a young boy; Max and his dog; Sparky and their journey to a fantasy land. The teachers said it was a wonderful metaphor. I won a bag of sweets. I went home that day and told my father, he said I did alright. I asked him to read it he said he was busy and he would do it as soon as he had time but he was working on a few poems and his novel as well.

Since then I haven’t had much trouble in deciding to follow the literary path. I remember speaking to a few distinguished writers about their successes. They were all saying how they couldn’t have done it without the support from their families, and I said well everyone has different methods, like I use a word processor. They all laughed. We were in a book shop at the time. They started to drift off to look at their books on the shelves and admire their handiwork.

What I’ve always admired about us writers is that we all see much further than what meets the eye and we all seem so well spoken and very modest. My father definitely had these qualities as he always appeared to be very selfless and very talented. My mother, before she passed away, used to say I reminded her of him. I definitely am taking after him and constantly improving, in the South East Yorkshire veterans short story competition which I entered I received a special mention. They said they enjoyed the way the children were described in an adult fashion as it added to the irony of the situation.

Barry said last week that at first he didn’t think I’d make it as a writer. Shows how I proved him wrong.


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