Century

Dear Readers of Pitching the World,

This is my hundredth post. Shouldn’t I be getting a telegram from the Queen or something? How does it work? A hundred posts. What on earth have I been writing about? I remember something about beetroot and something else about pie charts and I’m pretty sure I’ve even been including pitches recently, but other than that my mind’s a blank. Well, perhaps not a blank exactly, more a slaughterhouse. Or a malignant cartoon. Yeah, that’s more like it: Malignant Cartoon Slaughterhouse Mind – that could be my new nickname.

Anyway, I’ve had a little ditty going through my (slaughterhouse/malignant cartoon) mind all day to the tune of Happy Birthday. It goes:

Congratulations to me,

Congratulations to me,

For being such a fucking idiot,

Congratulations to me!

Good, isn’t it? And good, aren’t I? One hundred posts! Crikey. I always thought I’d write a hundred posts and end this nonsense there and then, but as I wrote post number 87 or 94 or even 99 I thought ‘How ridiculous I once was – to believe I would only write 100 posts. What a fool. I’m going to write way more than 100 posts. I might write 200. Or a thousand.”

Well. Well well well. I’m beginning to think that my original thinking was on the money and my subsequent thinking far sloppier. This, I fear, could be my final post. I’ve had enough. Enough of being a writer or a journalist or whatever the hell it is I’ve turned into and I am on the verge of quitting. The reasons are too numerous and complicated to go into, but let it be known that I’ve had enough. Enough enough enough.

You know what the worst word in the English language is? Hope. I’ve had it with hope. Me and hope used to be pals; I used to take hope round the back of supermarkets and have sex with it in big bins. That’s what I do with my friends by the way: fuck them in bins. But not anymore – the hope stuff I mean. Every week I think this week’s going to be better. This week, I think, the man who once paid me £3 a word is going to get in touch and ask me – beg me – to write his autobiography. Or: this week my agent, Matthew Hamilton of Aitken Alexander Associates, is going to get in touch and say, “Look, Steven, the reason I haven’t been in touch is because I’ve been working on a book deal for you. A secret one. And it’s big. Oh it’s big, it’s fuck-the-publishers-in-the-ass big.” Or: this week I’m going to be whisked off somewhere exotic with my ex-election team to write award-winning and morally affirming political speeches. Or: something else, something equally good.

God, what a melodramatic fool I am. But better a melodramatic fool than a hopeful one. Because, you know, this week isn’t going to be any better. If anything, this week will be worse – much worse. My whole life has been spent thinking that this week is going to be better and it never is. In fact, that’s going to be my epitaph – on my gravestone: “Here lies Pitching the World. He thought this week would be better.”

Someone once told me that “To get out of hell you’ve got to use power” and so I’ve decided that I’ve got just about enough energy for one final push. One final push then I’m giving up and going back to painting houses and building walls for a living. The rest of this week will be spent pitching editors with ideas for features that I actually want to write. I’m going to make them the most well honed and attractive pitches ever created and when editors read them they’re going to feel all oily and do remarkable things in their undercrackers.

At least I hope they will. And if that doesn’t work – if I get nowhere trying to make editors all oily or if I get nowhere with my massive fuck-them-in-the-ass secret book deal – then I’m going to put this advert in Private Eye, assuming I can find the money to do so:

Ex political speechwriter and current journalist seeks adventure. Anything legal or otherwise considered. Discretion assured. 

Fruity isn’t it? I’ve no idea what it means. I think whatever it means I mean it though. And if THAT doesn’t work (and it clearly will) then I’m either going to go back to painting and building walls for a living or I’m going to get a National Express coach to Paris for £25 and just hang around and try and find my own adventure. I don’t know what I’ll do for money. I’ve thought as far as dancing like a bear in a square somewhere. I know, I know: I’m having a breakdown.

So, you know, if it doesn’t all work out one way or another this week and I do give up and end up dancing around Europe like a bear, I’d just like to say thank you. Thank you for reading and commenting and subscribing and generally making me feel better about stuff. It’s been emotional. And perhaps a little too melodramatic.

Pitching the World. X

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40 responses to “Century

  1. On behalf of the United Kingdom, warmest congratulations on your 100th post, Pitchmeister! [the Queen asked me to send that to you]

  2. “That’s what I do with my friends by the way: fuck them in bins”

    Someone give this chap a job

  3. If all else fails, see if being a ‘food blogger’ can keep you in sausage and mash for a bit.

  4. Don’t quit now, I’ve only just discovered your blog!

  5. Send me an email. Paris is a dump. Bins are dirty. You are better than both.

  6. Don’t call it quits. On a selfish level I’d like you to continue because I love your site and like a lot of people who comment on here, I’d planned to use it to publicise my own blog. As I’ve only just set it up and haven’t written any content yet, I’d appreciate it if you could just bumble along for at least another couple of months, so I could make comments in the hope that a couple of people would click onto my site.

    On a non-selfish level, I’d say you should continue because you do have a talent and I believe that a writer as good as you will find a way to earn a living from it – eventually.

  7. No! That’s just bloody typical… I, like Emma, have only just found your words of wisdom, so if that’s a reflection on how long it takes to get heard, then perhaps I shouldn’t bother either…I certainly can’t afford the wait.

  8. What is the difference between a winner and a loser?
    A winner gets up one more time!

    I based my life on that, its the dedication to my novel, Talli’s Secret, that I had to self publish to see it get on the Whitbread Long list. I have five kids and have had, for various reasons, a very challenging five years with my children, keeping it all together. I know what you mean about ‘hope’, i have lived with ‘ soon it will get better’ for too many years, the teens think I’m slightly loopy. I would love to go to Paris, even my aged Aunt and Aunt in Law are going to Paris when its my birthday, bless them, so I think – maybe when I’m in my seventies, stuffed with whatever stuff youy can buy then, I too will go.

    My point is, my talented blogger, you can do anything, if you want, write, dream, travel, whatever – you may not get paid for it – which is sadly the Westernn Way to judge success – but you can do it.

    I have great admiration for your writing and spirit,
    I am sending you metaphorical energy – but I may need it back when the littlest return from playgroup!

  9. Julie Noble, you sound like a good egg.

  10. On behalf of Dubai, don’t give up the brilliant blog ….. we will all fall apart if we don’t have PTW to look forward to. Afterall what else is there to look forward to here than just hotter days and more sand!

  11. To echo previous comments – hang in there! Have only just found you. Raising a glass (well, mug of coffee in my case) to your 1000th post!

  12. Just because you’re good at something, doesn’t mean you have to keep on doing it. To make a dubious comparison, look at Ronnie O’Sullivan. Possibly the best snooker player ever, but he rarely seems to be enjoying himself. Hopefully you can find a way to write which makes you happy. But if you can’t, don’t feel bad about doing something else. Best of luck.

  13. Congratulations on hitting the 100 mark, Pitchy! If you stop writing this fucking blog now, when I’ve just discovered one of the few places I know I can visit for a guaranteed laugh – I shall come and bludgeon you with a copy of The Writers and Artists Yearbook – and it’s quite a heavy tome as you know.
    Keep going – you’re ace.
    Mya x

  14. DO NOT GIVE UP! I was thinking of holding a PTW party at my flat next week, everyone has to come as something from their favourite PTW post. Janet is coming as (or will become one as the night goes on) a puking fucked up mess (puke, fuck, cry) Abdullah is coming as a being of yoghurt (Yoghurt V Cigarettes) or maybe he said he will bring a yoghurt? Gregory is coming with no pants on (Going Commando) Music for the party will include: Europe (The Final Countdown) Jimi Hendrix (The Horror of being a Restaurant Critic) MC Hammer (Fuck you, memory) There will be polish vodka shots served by a banker I know (A cheap shot from a cheap man) No doubt there will be various obnoxious comments made after too many drinks (Accentuate the Negative) There’s a chap coming who reckons he is Frank McGrath (Forwords & Forearms) Can’t bloody wait.

  15. Come up Finsbury Park and I’ll smoke 100 snouts with you, no joke of a lie. I’ll get some Skol Supers and we can sit in the park with t-shirts on out heads. I know that’s right up your filthy little alley.

  16. Marge, I will be there with bells on and obnoxious comments !

  17. Just collect up this blog as a book and flog the rights to BBC3.

    You’ll be missed.

  18. My name is Moira

    I miss you. Don’t quit, quitting’s for girls. Stay and have sex in bins with your friends.

  19. I doubt you’ll be able to escape; as the good doctor puts it, journalism’s a “low trade and habit worse than heroin”. Yes, you might paint houses for a bit, or do strange shit in Paris, whatever it takes to get your head together; but, whether you like it or not, I fear that for a man of your talents, there’s no long-term way out of this racket. If you’re desperate for cash, sub, for heaven’s sake. By the way, and this is serious, I’d highly recommend learning kung fu (the proper kind, where they don’t give you belts and it’s outrageously hard and it’ll take you your whole life to learn); it really does help troubled souls to keep on keeping on. Good luck dude; you will win.

  20. Yeah you might as well pack it in Pitchy, your blog is shit.

    Joking mate, JOKING! Keep going sunshine. It could be worse. You could be working on a photo desk at the Daily Mail because you need the money to keep coming in and being so knackered because of it that you never have any good ideas to pitch. The Daily Mail! Jeez. There you go, my secret’s out.

  21. Oh Pitchy, nooooooooooo!!!!!! I love this blog and all the comments, particularly from Marge (who I think would make a great party planner). I nearly gave up Hope too last night on the 209 bus, I was reflecting how I was in no better place than a decade ago and it feels like a death through a thousand cuts with all my endeavours. Then I read on your post, saying exactly how I felt too, amazing. Well not in happy way, I am sure a ton of us feel the same in creative fields. I think a refreshing break is what you need, and a bit of money. Well, to be honest, that is how I feel. I just only said goodbye that evening to my friend on the Eurostar, who said, ‘Come to Paris right now!’. I nearly did, but…. I think I did the right thing, I think and caught the 209. Take some work on as Eric says and then have a hols. xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  22. Camera Bird: Thank you. Did she really though?

    Bart Mee: Thanks for pointing that out, I’m quite happy with that. It’s true, too.

    Ellie: I’ve had far-from-splendid experiences of being a food critic, but it’s good to bear in mind.

    Emma Mac: Thanks, I’ll try not to.

    Marian: Have done. And thanks.

    Dan: Ha! Your evil plan worked. I noticed lots of people (well, a few) clicked through to your site from here yesterday. Good luck with it all. And I’ve been making a living doing this for the last five years but recently I’ve found it become increasingly harder and me become increasingly fucked off with the way the whole industry works. Swear down.

    smiigtt: No, please do indeed bother. Just try not to hope too much.

    Julie Noble: Thanks for your kind words and metaphorical energy. I think I got some of it. Actually, can one ‘get’ metaphorical energy? No matter. And Whitbread long list eh? Good stuff.

    Cate: Thank you. Will you really all fall apart though without this? A weird bit of me wishes this was true. But only a bit, mind.

    Jo: Thank you, I may well do. But a thousand posts? Sheesh.

    Mark: Sage advice, I like it. But if by some miracle I get a secret fuck-them-in-the-ass book deal, would you mind if I put “The Ronnie O’Sullivan of journalism – Mark” on the front cover? Ta.

    Mya: You’re pretty ace yourself, thanks. And your blog’s not too shabby either. Like your swearing.

    Marge: That’s splendid, thanks. Does Abdullah really have a favourite post though? I would love to believe that’s true. Please don’t shatter me and tell me otherwise.

    Alan: That is indeed up my filthy little alley. Right up there. Suspect it could be a contributing factor into why I’m having all these problems right now. But yes, I’m on my way. I’ll be staying at yours.

    Nate: Thanks very much. And yes to your idea very much.

    My name is Moira: Okay, well I’m hanging in there, sort of. And I know this might come across as some dreadfully laboured conceit just to elicit more readers (which it has done), praise (which it has done), sympathy (which it etc.) and even work (which etc.) but it isn’t. Perhaps I was a little rash in saying I was going to quit but to be honest I feel closer to it today than I did when I posted the above so there must be something there right?

    Eric Murph: Lovely to have you back round these parts. Kung fu is an excellent idea. As is getting my head together. Subbing I would stink at, I reckon. You will win too. What’s happened to your (rather wonderful) site by the way? Seems to have just disappeared.

    Lee: The Daily Mail? Oh, please. I would never stoop so low as to work for them. (Although I have, twice, and am pitching something to them this afternoon.) Thank you.

    Lisa Williams: I can’t even count the number of kisses you’ve put there. 50? Anyway, thank you and you’re right: I do need a break and a bit of money. Or a break and a lot of money. Also: ‘a death through a thousand cuts’? Like it.

  23. Jesus, this has turned into a fucking love-in hasn’t it? Where’s all the hate? The petty jealousy? The passive-aggressive semi-praise? Well, I’m not joining in (although I would if I’d come here earlier).

  24. Yeah I know Joe, it’s gone well – for want of a better word – gay. I love you man.

  25. Dude, these chicks are mad for you right now. You can’t walk away from that.

    On the other hand, it could well be that they’re only mad for you because you keep threatening to walk away. In which case, keep threatening. But keep, er, sitting. Or standing. Not walking, anyway.

  26. Dom, is that Dom for Dominique? Do you wear heels at the weekend when you are alone?

  27. A boy’s never alone in heels, Marge.

  28. Dom: How DARE you? I’ve only threatened to quit about five or six times and the last time was at least a few months ago. Still, lovely to have you back around here. And check this out, forwarded yesterday from an editor I wrote a piece for.

    Dear Jonathan

    Would you be so kind please as to help me make contact with [redacted].
    I would like to talk with him about his project involving pitching to every magazine in the W&A Yearbook.
    We have an idea which we think will help him cover the ground a bit more quickly.

    Thank you in advance, and I look forward to hearing back from you.

    Kind regards

    Helen King
    Director
    jole rider

    How exciting. What could they mean? Thrilling though, isn’t it Dom? I’ll keep you posted.

  29. It IS thrilling Pitchinho. And it should be noted that “Helen” would appear to be a lady too. Just saying, like.

  30. C’mon Pitchy, keep doing your shizzle. It’s what keeps me plugging away at 1037.511 mph.

  31. Is their idea to help you cover ground more quickly teaching you how to pitch? Snap.

  32. I’m thinking this will, indeed, be your last post. It happens to me quite a lot. I find a blog that looks quite good and within a few posts of me finding it, it stops. It’s the trouble with bloggers. They ain’t got no staying power.

    It makes you wonder sometimes. Is it just me?

  33. Good one Alan. You plum.
    Good one too The World. You not plum.
    Andy, it’s not you it’s me. But, yes, I can see how that could make one wonder.
    Dom: Uncanny, isn’t it?

  34. Pitchy I think I love you

  35. I would ask you to keep going but I did that once before (Run DFC) and you broke my heart!

    I hate/ love you!

  36. You’re a fucking plum. Where’s my 40 quid?

  37. Thanks for the kind words re my site Pitchy; much appreciated. Unfortunately, I had to kill it. Truth is, I grew tired of the sound of my own voice, found posting and hunting for things to post about addictive in all the wrong kinds of ways and decided to focus on other addictions such as drinking and kung fu. These things feel more like a break from work than blogging, which, however enjoyable it can be, is kind of like work, except without the dosh and the bosses. Take care me old mucka.

  38. You speak a lot of truth Eric Murphy and make me want to do kung fu.
    Alan, you speak no truth and make me want to keep your 40 quid.
    L, I hate/love you too.
    Jayne, thank you. I think you do too.

  39. Can we get the comments above 40?
    I think you need a wee break pitchfork and then return with renewed vigour x

  40. I’m not sure we can Fandango. A break is an excellent idea. Beyond me financially at the moment, but an excellent idea. x

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