More Conversations With My Agent

Earlier today, I sent this email to my agent. If you’re at all interested, I’ll still be updating this blog – and quite possibly with more regularity – but I’ve decided this project can go and make love to itself. Thanks very much for reading.


To: Matthew Hamilton, Aitken Alexander Associates

From: Pitching the World

Subject: The End

Dear Matthew,

A week or two ago I promised to send you an email that would be “the best email you have ever read.” This may well not be it. In fact, it may well be thoroughly disappointing. Sometime in the middle of last night, you see, I decided to quit Pitching the World. For real this time. This ghoul of a project has caused a lot of misery and hardship over the last couple of years. It’s led to divorce, poverty, a hairline that can best be described as misplaced and atrophying limbs. I know I always bang on about it causing me to go broke and mad and bald but it really has. As it stands, I’m in a borrowed flat in Surrey with no heating, no ability to pay my raft of creditors and enough food to last until the weekend. Once that goes, I’m screwed.

Screwed, but happy. I’m massively relieved to be abandoning this ridiculous thing. And I have ideas. One idea, is that there could still be a good book to be found based on my experiences over the last two and a half years. It could begin here, in East Horsley, broke and alone and drying out. It could be a cautionary tale about freelance journalism. Or a cautionary tale about seeing things through. I always thought it would be a brave and noble achievement to see Pitching the World out to the end, no matter what. Last night, that thought struck me as foolish. I’d be foolish to see this thing out. The brave and noble thing to do would be to quit now and put it down to experience. Surely that would be a better, more representative book: embarking on something and failing miserably. I quite like that. Plus, I’m not a journalist – certainly not the type of journalist who could have made Pitching the World a success. I’m a lot of things, but that type of journalist isn’t one of them.

So, where does this leave us? Hopefully somewhere not too grim. I’ll still continue to write for a living and have a weekly poker column starting next week. We’ve discussed the possibility of me writing a book about poker. If you still want to represent me, we can discuss that further. It occurred to me last night that I should be writing about the things I enjoy doing. I came up with a list: Drinking, Smoking, Gambling and Making Dinner For My Nan. I can’t see a book in that last one, but I can see something in travelling the world living in developing countries trying to make a living from gambling and the stuff that that involves. I can also see a column along those lines. Once I’ve sent this email, I’m going to spend the night trying to get one commissioned.

Hopefully this email hasn’t led to you smashing up your desk. It’s definitely the right course of action to take though. Isn’t it? Not smashing up your desk, more me giving up. I’m not and never was the sort of man who could successfully pitch to and write for 642 magazines. In fact, I’m going to get that book now and go and burn it in the forest. Or I might just throw it away. If my phone had any battery I’d ask you to call me, but hopefully we can speak over the coming weeks.

With best wishes,

Pitching the World


A bear going to college, earlier. 


31 responses to “More Conversations With My Agent

  1. The world will certainly be poorer for the loss of PTW but I’m happy to give up the little ray of sunshine that appears in my inbox sporadically if it means you have a happier, fuller and more fun life (both personally and professionally). Not that it’s up to me.

    Lots of luck Pitchy
    (though next week you’ll probably be thinking that PTW is the best idea ever again…)

    • The thing is, Lee,* is that this website will keep going but the project won’t. It’s okay, we’ll still have a good time. Just you wait and see. Thanks for your charming words.

      *I hate those condescending commas, Lee, that I tend to do around someone’s name, Lee, it makes me look like a massive dick, Lee. Sorry about that.

  2. Stop whining and keep writing!
    It’s good, entertaining stuff.

  3. Brave move.
    I must say, I do love the idea of the PTW book beginning there in East Horsley, in a borrowed flat with no heating, you burning a book in the forest at night (please don’t just throw it away! you must burn it in a ritual – I’ll do it with you on Thursday) and attempting to dry out. That is a good start to any book…

    I for one would want to read that. Let me know when it’s in the shops and I’ll steal a copy x

    • I was thinking we could rip out the pages together, like at the end of American History X where him and his brother rip the posters off the wall. How dramatic would that be? Very, I imagine. I might end up getting shot in a toilet the next day. Anyway thanks, very much, and I’ll see you Thursday. X

  4. Stop whining and keep writing.
    It’s good, entertaining stuff.

    • Your Mum’s good, entertaining stuff. Just kiding Sam Keith – thanks very much for saying so. I’ll keep going in some form or another, just not this one. I rather liked your comments: one with a screamer, one without.

  5. Oh shit, Steve. I had no idea that this project was such a killer. I just thought you were taking the piss over all this time.

    Well, if it makes you feel this shitty, forget it. It’s not worf it, mate. And I have absolutely no doubt that you can turn your filthy, ink-stained paws to something more profitable/ valuable/ enjoyable/ not so fuck-up-your-lifeable.

    I’ll fucking well miss you though.

    • Oh, Cath, you’re such a darling. No, not darling – a dear? You’re something anyway, and it’s very endearing. Perhaps a dear, then. Fuck me this comment is terrible so far.
      Yes, hope I can turn to something along those lines. I’m sure I will (not sure I will). X

  6. Only started reading PTW regularly over the last few months but I already know I’m going to fucking miss it.

  7. You will have more time to devote to your great novel, which is good news. And anyway, you’ll still be keeping us updated on your bin-fucking and traffic wanking escapades, won’t you? Please say you will. Or is Boscombe more tolerant than East Horsley when it comes to
    mad writerly genius behaviour? Please reassure.

    • There will be more bin-fucking and traffic-wanking than anyone – ANYONE – has ever seen Mya. Don’t you worry about that. Perhaps not in East Horsley though, it’s terribly refined around here. Although some of that behaviour might liven these stiffs up a bit. Who knows? Me, probably. Soon.

  8. It’s sad, but hopeful.


  9. Fuck it. As one who has embarked upon and abandoned a great many stupid fucking projects that could actually have been fucking great, I say fuck it. And good luck with the next one. Onwards!

  10. Ah Pitchy, so near and yet so far. Please burn the book to give you some heating in your borrowed flat. Come to think of it I’m happy to send you my copy too if it helps keep you warm for a while, it just sits on my desk taunting me all day and occasionally whispers things like “unproductive loser” to me so I really won’t miss it. I’m a freelance writer too so know how tough it is, although I have hair, a house and a husband. And I don’t really have time to drink or smoke because I have a pair of crazy two year olds, but I do know where you’re coming from. Whatever you do, please make sure you keep on blogging because whenever a notification pings into my inbox it gives me another excuse not to do any real work.

    Chin up. Onwards and upwards. Good luck doing whatever you end up doing. xx

    • Yeah, that whispering bastard. Watch out for that, Tales. I wish I had hair and a house and a husband. Thanks for your kind and encouraging words. I will still write some stuff here from time to time, so keep an ear open for those pings.

  11. What a delightfully sweary comment, K-Trousers. And you know. You know stuff. Don’t anyone here go thinking that K-Hole doesn’t know stuff. I’ll be emailing you soon.
    And thanks.

  12. Just discovered this blog. Gutted. Feels like I’ve gatecrashed a going away party and, although nibbing on vol au vents at the back, know the gravity of the situation.

    For what it’s worth, thanks. Here’s hoping for an encore.

  13. I’m not sure I quite believe that you are quitting.
    Bet you keep it in the back of your mind.
    Good that you’ll keep up with the blog though.
    Good luck with whatever you decide to do during this ‘almost quitting’ time.

  14. I definitely think you should pursue the cookery book idea – with more of us caring for elderly relatives knowing what to feed them is crucial! (soft stuff, I guess..?) It’ll be a bestseller. Promise.

  15. Quitting is for quitters pitch.

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