Saturday, 19 March 2011

Pass Me On (and other news)

It's very difficult to write around a 40 hour week job.   What with trying to spend quality time with the love of your life, the gym (for the knee - nearly there now), seeing friends and the temptations of Twitter, the pub and TV, you really have to fight hard to be imaginative and creative.  A blunt person might say that my priorities demonstrate how much I actually do want to write for a living.  If I wanted it more, I'd cut out some of that other shit and just get on with it.  There's a lot of stuff out there written about writers and procrastination and that particular truth does indeed hurt.

But when I can, I'm still doing the writing.  Not for a living so much (although there is a pretty delicious travel commission coming up - more of that in a minute) but hopefully planting some seeds for the future.  Namely, a new blog.  It's called Pass Me On and you can find it here. It's a simple idea - I interview someone and they pass me on to someone else that is famous and hopefully interesting to talk to.  15 minutes on the phone (maybe in person at some point), Q&A.  I like the idea of it because there is such a lot of untrue bollocks that ends up in magazines, so this is all straight from the horses mouth.  I'm hoping that the interviewees will like it for that reason too.  And I'm also hoping that some Commissioning Editor sees it, thinks it's a good idea and wants to pay me to publish it.  It's part inspired by those 'in their own words pieces' you see in supplements.  Pretty sure that 'This Much I Know' in the Observer was the first one, now there is 'What I've Learnt' in the Saturday Times mag and I think the Mail on Sunday mag Live has ripped the idea off too.

Apart from that I've been asked to write a blog for the Square Mile people and I'm off to Costa Rica in the first week of May to write a piece on voluntourism for The Express.  If you're ever in doubt that a blog can be a good idea, that trip came as a result of Pass Me On.  I mailed an alert to every contact I've made to date and Duncan at the Express came back, said he liked the idea and did I want to go to Honduras (later changed to Costa Rica after safety worries)?  Which means I've got Gary Lineker to thank for a trip to Central America.  Bet that's a sentence that's never been written before.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Writing and Not Writing

Stretch before working out.
Even when I'm not really writing, I'm writing.  Twittering, emailing, commenting on other blogs.  Every day my fingers are on the keys in some respect.  And even though I'm trying to hold down a non-writing 9-5 in order to pay for a few things (like a wedding), I'm trying to keep the writing going.  The first thing is a new project for a not so new year.  It sprang out of the interview with Danielle Lineker that was on here last week.  'I've got hold of one celebrity', I thought 'People are interested in celebrities - so what if I could get hold of another one?'  So Pass Me On was born.  I asked Danielle if she would pass me on to someone famous, she passed me on to her old man and now Gary has said that he'll pass me on to someone else.  So I'm hoping the idea is going to have legs, that someone in publishing will also think it's a great idea and that it might, just might lead to a few more commissions. Hey I can dream can't I?

Three people have already said it's a good idea.  Admittedly two of them were friends on Facebook, but the third was an actual commissioning Editor.  If you're ever in doubt that keeping a blog is a good idea, here's an argument in favour.  I've said before on here that a regular reminder that I still exist and am keen to write can be no bad thing.  Well, an email went out to everyone on the CIWFAL mailing list about Pass Me On yesterday and by the end of the day I had an offer to go to Central America to write a travel piece.  Funny sort of a day yesterday - nearly got killed on my bike in the morning, had the opportunity to go to Botswana taken out of my hands, got a bollocking of sorts at work and then had that opportunity land in my inbox.  Maybe that's karma (man).