Got my first paid job as a writer last week. I'm scripting four information films for the Department of Health at Birmingham Uni. They're having a drive on recruiting people to some of the less well known areas of the National Health Service. Fancy becoming an O.D.P anyone?
I worked from recordings of people that have roles in each of the departments and tried to construct the ideal candidate for the ad. Listening to The Mental Health nurses, the Learning Disability nurses, they all do amazing jobs helping people coming to terms with their mental and physical problems. Hearing what they do on a daily basis made me feel like a selfish good for nothing waste of enzymes.
It got me thinking about other writers who were in similar situations and made me wonder how they felt. Dylan Thomas and Laurie Lee both worked for the Ministry of Information during the war, scripting films on getting people to join the home guard or becoming balloon operators.
Both contributing to the war effort, fighting the biggest most horrendous problems of their day the only way they could. If I were Dylan or Laurie , that's how I would justify my role...because that's how I'm justifying my role.
Let's think about it. Working in a hospital these days would seem to most people as good as jumping into a dustbin and licking the inside clean. The largest threat to the world is a trillionth of a millimetre in size and lurks on every surface that you can touch. Swine flu, MRSA, Avian flu... according to "those in the know" these are considered the new threats to humanity.
If this is true or not the jobs are there and need to be filled. So, it seems like we'll have to look back to those bad old days of the war and take a piece of their advice..."Keep Calm and Carry on".