Archive for the ‘when sparks fly’ Tag

The Write Stuff

soul singerThe first morning of going freelance in 1997 I went to the gym then walked round to Our Price record shop in Muswell Hill and bought New World Order, the recently released record by Curtis Mayfield. I was drawing a line. If I was giving up the financial stability of a proper job (a stability I’d enjoyed for the nine years of my working life to date), I was going to make darn good use of the flexibility of freelance.

Tomorrow morning represents a similar day. After a decade at Channel 4, I’m taking four months of sabbatical to write, of which today is technically Day One. And to not walk down to the tube; travel to Embankment; change to St James’s; walk past New Scotland Yard;  down Strutton Ground; up the stairs coloured Golden State Bridge red by Richard Rogers. That red ought to delight me. It will again come January by which time the Pacific salt air and San Francisco fog will have returned. Not least because among others I’ll be writing about Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady.

I’m doing 9 to 5, Monday to Friday until the New Year writing about creativity and creative networks. So today’s not officially a work day but I wanted to talk to one last person before diving in, so headed over to Hampstead to meet my old colleague and friend Jan Younghusband, Head of Music at BBC and former Arts Commissioning Editor at Channel 4. She kindly took time out from the Proms etc. to bounce a few ideas around with me which was reassuring and encouraging. In her tranquil garden overlooking an Edwardian  school campus, we talked about a variety of creatives from Joan Littlewood to Nicholas Hytner, from Chris Blackwell to Nadia Boulanger. And, having written a book about Jacqueline du Pre, Jan was able to provide some very practical advice about how to organise my writing day. So tomorrow I put that into action at 9am.

Postscript:

When you publish a post on WordPress, you are rewarded with a quote and here’s the one I just got on publishing this, my 349th post:

The best way to become acquainted with a subject is to write a book about it.

Benjamin Disraeli

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