Unfortunately, this was before computers or electricity were invented and I don’t seem to have a copy of the file anywhere.
I do however still have a letter Fay Weldon wrote to me on the subject. I also spoke to her by telegraphic communication but have no record of that neither. I do remember she was a nice lady and happy to give time to answering banal questions from a moron.
Anyway, here’s what she wrote.
When you write ads you write something short selling a product which appears in print very soon.
When you write fiction you write something long which sells an idea and takes ages to appear. It requires more ingenuity, more patience, and the courage of your own convictions, not someone else’s. Payment is a side issue. (Mind you, I always thought it was amongst the advertisers. They’d always say I only do this for the money, when actually they did it because they loved it.)
I started by writing TV plays. It occurred to me that while a TV commercial was a little story selling a product, a TV drama was a longer story selling an idea, but otherwise the same principles applied. And you wrote the script across the page, not in two columns, cross hatching not separating sound and vision. And they paid you more, you kept the copyright, and got admired not despised.
I like that bit about having the courage of your own convictions. Just the sheer investment of hours for a novel writer, sitting there working your ass off with every chance that what you’re doing will never see the light of day. Writers often give up their day job or reduce their hours and live on cabbage soup and dust, just for the privilege of receiving a zillion rejection letters. Hats off to ‘em.
I think it’s an interesting subject. There’s a fair bit about it on Lolly and Nat’s blog, one of them having actually written an actual book and everything.