Sunday, 7 August 2011

Reasons to Write - Luxury, Challenge and Freedom

It's happy week here at CIWFAL as my cup has been somewhat overflowing of late.  If you're looking for reasons to write, this is the post for you.  Writing has brought many new experiences (not least interviewing Jazzie B) but the last month has been something of a succession of gifts.  It's been like being courted.  First up there was the press trip to Costa Navarino in Greece for the Daily Mail.  If I hadn't pursued writing, it's unlikely that I'd ever have experienced 5 Star - my room had its own pool for God's sake.  Throw in 7 course tasting menus, picnics under the olive groves and a beach with the clearest water I'd ever seen and it was like all the chips thrown in on the karmic craps table had at last come home to roost.  The cherry on top was getting a commission from the Sunday Times Travel Magazine while I was there.  Not only will the money and byline be useful, but it's interesting to see how different Commissioning Editors work.

Firstly, it was cool how they found me.  The Commissioning Editor, Katie Bowman, contacted the Texas Tourist Board and they mentioned me going last year for Square Mile.  Then she checked out my website - so if you write and you haven't got one, why not?  Katie got in touch having checked out some of my work and the result was me getting the commission.  Getting my original copy sent back with strike throughs and suggestions for tweaks always leaves me wondering if the recipient thinks it was a pile of crap, even thought I'm assured this is pretty normal practice.  Luckily for my ego, Katie was encouraging and flattering in equal measure, which left me very open to her suggestions for improvements.  They made sense and I learnt that a good Editor will help you to up your game and improve your writing.  Not only was the commission a stimulating and challenging experience, it's another new title in my portfolio.  Bonus!

Writing has also brought me a new bike, albeit a loan for two months.   The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea are pushing cycling, maybe because most of the residents hare round in stupidly big 4x4s.  Blue plaque tours were the borough's first attempt at getting the posho's to try two wheels and because I went along to that I got asked if I wanted to be a 'bike hero'.  Disappointingly this did not come with a superhero outfit, not even a blimming cape or mask.  On the plus side, we now have a racing green Brompton (in its folded form) as the new centre piece in our living room. It's the kind of ingenious invention that makes you come over all patriotic in these times when the haters keep going on about Britain not producing anything anymore.  Though she's a bit nervous of London drivers, I'm hoping the Mrs will get the cycling bug so we can traverse the city together.  If the smile on her face as she road tested it around the manor is anything to go by, it won't be long before she's seen the light.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like there are some major benefits! Perhaps I should consider a career change...! Great work