I've been corresponding with Simon Stjern, a young speechwriter at the Norwegian Ministry of Culture. He writes:
I am not a communication expert who happens to work as a speechwriter. I am a speechwriter who happens to work as a speechwriter. There's a vital difference. So, I would like to praise you for showing speechwriters all over the world that they're not alone. That we are a community in our professional (and therefore also personal) solitude. Not to say we are lonely. We have friends with whom we take that extra beer, not because we think it is a great idea—we just want to make the night last a bit longer. We have boyfriends and girlfriends who love and supports us, but not always understand why we suddenly write sentences on napkins in restaurants. Or why we wake up at 3 am to watch a stream of the Nigerian presidents inauguration speech (why wouldn't we?).
My point is: I love being a speechwriter, and you are one of the reasons, David. The universe and community you have created with PSA, VSOTD, Writing Boots … makes me proud of my identity. Thank you.
Which makes me feel proud of my identity. Thank you, Simon.
As for the rest of you lonely lighthouse operators—join the PSA.