Yesterday was a good day.
I finished Draft Zero of my first feature, and my membership card arrived from the Writers Guild.
I feel all warm and professional inside.
But the arrival of my slightly sticky so-cheap-it’s-made-of-waxed-paper membership card does make me wonder.
The Writers Guild of Great Britain was formed in 1958. That’s a fair while back. And while it’s true that unlike the WGA you’re not required to be a member to make a living in the world of TV and Film, having only 5,626 other members join in the last forty-odd years seems awfully low.
And then consider that of those who’ve joined since it started, a great deal of those people must have died. Or let their membership lapse. Or both. Then suddenly that’s not a lot of Guild Members any more.
There must be more writers in the UK than have joined up. If so, what are they doing about things like, ooh, legal advice? Going through the small print in their contracts? Pensions?
I don’t want to die in penury. And a hundred and fifty quid a year (plus change should I earn more than 15 grand) seems like a good investment to make in things like collective bargaining and newsletters and a chance to meet up with other professionals and having an organisation that’s looking out for writers.
Not to mention the fact that when I sell something to the US it’ll save me twenty five hundred bucks joining the WGA.
Cheap at the price.