Every now and then I gets to wondering: exactly what percentage of the world is made up of those of us purporting to be in "the arts"?


Purporting to be in the arts being the only prerequisite for being in the arts, I would suggest the percentage of artists (and bear in mind I can't count due to the fact that I'm in the arts) is a figure that would reach into the... manys.


This is simultaneously inspiring and a little humbling (bordering, if I'm honest, on depressing) when everyone you know and everyone they know is in pre-production, post-production, novelisation, and/or development.


But here's why I mention this: I detect interlopers.


At this point I would like to address those of you who have had steady jobs for the past five years. You know, jobs with suits and business cards and salary packages and after work drinks. Now, I know times are tough. I know that. I read the papers. I know some of you are losing your jobs. I know some of you have been given a nice package and told to come back later and it must be scary and some of you have kids and houses and the Beast That Dare Not Speak Its Name in the arts world: adult responsibilities, and that sucks for all of you.


Having said that, could I please beg of you: do not join the arts world. Please. I know it looks fun. I know it's swanning about with Moleskenes and coffees and looking frenzied just before deadlines. I know it doesn't involve staff meetings and that must appeal, I realise that, I've been to staff meetings myself.


However, know this: there are too many of us. Far too many. Someone pointed at a celebrant at the wedding I was at last week and told me she was a casting director, the woman next to her was an actor, the man next to her was a cartoonist, and the one in the striped suit was a director. The one in the striped suit, for future reference, is usually the director. But I digress.


I like my artist friends but I also like the other ones. The ones whose jobs I don't understand. The ones whose lives I peer into with wide eyed astonishment: you MAKE YOUR OWN PASTA? You went to WHERE on your holiday? You like Packed to the Rafters? I like those friends and their mysterious salmon-pink-shirted cufflinked high-heeled world. It's their world but I like to watch it and learn from it.


But there are enough of us. Look around you. Artists are everywhere. We serve you drinks, we thank you for calling and ask if you have any other banking needs, we read Russian novels on public transport. I know it's tempting to take that leap of faith to join us but please... I beg you... don't make me the majority. My marginalised nobody-understands don't-patronise-me attitude is the only thing I have.


Please don't take that away from me.