The path from drugs worker to writer is ne’er direct, being a path largely untrodden, with only a vague and over-grown trail remaining from the aspirations of naive youth – and, to make matters worse, the path is peppered with potentially fatal trials and pitfalls.
These adversities, set to further demoralise the budding writer on her quest for freedom from the evil clenches of Lord Beaurocracy, do not take the form of trip wires and bear traps – no, because this is a metaphor. The trials of which I speak are in fact those created by man in the hope of smoothing out our paths and joining them together – iPads, software compatibility and social networking.
‘Write’ she thinks, and write she does, and the language doth flow, and with no time she hath eight chapters of her novel completed. But then along comes another traveller – she is not old but is wise, and she tells the public servant that these days, writers need a ‘platform’. ‘What is this platform of which you speak?’ asks the public servant, for her journey has just started and her knowledge is small. ‘Blogging, Twitter and Facebook’ replies the other traveller, she on a journey from teaching to writing (www.suearmenante.co.uk), and she kindly shows the public servant her path to help her along the way.
Now our heroine lacks confidence, but she is brave, and so she follows the advice of the other traveller and sets up a blog (here readeth thee that blog) to broadcast her skills to the world, should anyone care to listen. The road to the blog is hard, she hath ne’er before trod such a path, and to add to her adversities she has an acute case of conjunctivitis and so is blind to the way of the blog (don’t worry, still a metaphor). To aid her journey, she has been given a tool that goeth by the name of iPad, and hence she uses iPad to show her the way. But iPad is not compatible with blogging, and the servant is unable to tag her blogs using her new tool, and has to ringeth a man in Ireland from tech support to find out how to bypass this trap that blocks her way, fearlessly entering her personal details into iPad to enable a download of the WordPress App for iPad.
But before our traveller has time to compose herself, she is faced with Baron Twitter. For many years, she has shunned the advances of Baron Twitter, believing him to be a pointless being, popular with minor celebrities and those desperate to be so themselves, but now she needs the Baron’s help, and she wields iPad and tries to think of a username and password. This is hard task indeed, having had to set up an imposing number of accounts over the last week to find the platform of which her fellow traveller spoke, but this task is especially fraught with difficulty as the rest of the land are already familiar with Baron Twitter, and so available usernames are few and far between.
Now the public servant is tired, she does not know if she has the strength to go on. All the other travellers she has met along the way seem to have gathered so much more knowledge than she, and she is severely discouraged by her inability to master software used by Wayne Rooney and Kerry Katona. She looks back to where her journey began, and in the distance she sees people, grey and thin, reeking of necrosis and limping as a result of deep vein thromboses from femoral injecting – and she knows, without doubt, that she must go on, for ne’er again can she face child protection conferences, or sacrifice her talents to writing pre-sentence reports. And so she faces Baron Twitter, and she takes his hand, and she lets him call her whatever he wants (@servant_public), but in her mind she knows that to her, he will always be Baron McTwatter, and she smiles.