My writing story
SCHOOL: I write essays, articles for the school magazine and pithy notes to my best friend, Jon. And loads of things that don’t matter: poems, plays and little bits of comedy. I write my first love letter. And I'm dumped for the first (and not last) time - by letter.
UNIVERSITY: I decide to become a lawyer. Lots more essays. The occasional dissertation. And plenty more comedy for the Law Club revues.
RELUCTANT LAWYER: I grow up and become a solicitor. Masses of writing: contracts, statements of claim, threatening letters.
HACK: It’s a bit dull being a lawyer. I become the editor of a legal journal, then a journalist for a weekly trade paper for the legal world. I love it. At last, I’m being paid to write. I was being paid to write when I was a lawyer. But now people actually want to read the stuff.
GROUNDHOG: I run out of money. A law firm hires me to write their marketing stuff. I hammer out press releases and articles. So many new clients come knocking, the firm needs a new lawyer. I get the job. So, now I’m a solicitor again. More contracts and poison-pen letters. Time passes. I end up working as a suit in a big oil company.
COPY CAT: I decide I want to work for myself as a writer. I leave the smoke to set up on my own (and write the novel, become a celebrity chef and change the world). The setting-up-on-my-own bit works out - the other dreams are work-in-progress.
LET'S DO THIS: I call my new business Let's Do This. I split my time between helping people become better communicators, and writing copy for businesses that want to get their message across in a clear, concise and creative way. And I carry on writing the stuff that doesn’t matter. In 2016, I win two Literary Festival poetry slams - Swindon and Ledbury. A play of mine has people in tears. And in 2020, DJ Derek's Lockdown Disco Dittie gets a staggering 146 views on YouTube. (Maybe the stuff that doesn’t matter, does matter after all).