“For the majority of my life, I felt deeply uncomfortable and confused in my own body. I starved and abused my body in many destructive ways – all because I felt that I wasn’t good enough or beautiful enough…” These are the words of photographer Alice Joiner (above), who for five years suffered from a mental illness that manifested as a serious eating disorder. In service of her art and her … [Read more...] about Three elements of a compelling story
When I was a trainee music journalist in the early 80s, I was tasked with interviewing new bands and artists. Some of them – like Spandau Ballet and Duran Duran – were media-savvy before anyone talked about being media-savvy. They understood the importance of crafting an image. But many of them were either stuck in the belief that their music should speak for itself, or they hated having to do … [Read more...] about Dear creatives: marketing is part of your job description
Most people who knew me when I was a rock journalist in the 80s would probably agree that I stood out. There weren’t that many women working for the music papers at that time – and certainly not women who wore bespoke black and red latex dresses accessorised with six-inch stilettos. But despite my maverick beginnings, as I gained experience as a journalist I gradually became more sensible and … [Read more...] about How to stop fitting in and start doing your own thing
As I’ve written here before, I’m a strange beast: a journalist who doesn’t find self-promotion easy. But I realise I have to get over myself, not only because I need to market my services but also because I've started teaching creatives how to tell captivating stories that will hook the attention of the media. So it's unfair of me to ask them to do something I don’t want to do myself. At least … [Read more...] about How I successfully pitched a story idea to The Guardian
I should be able to do this. I’m a journalist. I’ve been a journalist for nearly 40 years, for God’s sake. I know how the game is played; I’ve been on the receiving end of countless pitches and worked with many PRs in different industry sectors. So why do I find it so hard promote myself? Even though I know what works and what doesn’t work? I know how to write. I’m also a public speaking … [Read more...] about I’m a journalist. So why do I find it so hard to promote myself?
When it comes to memories, we are all unreliable narrators. The human brain will go to great lengths in order to create a coherent sense of self, sometimes inventing things that never happened and even people who don't exist simply to hold the story together. Memory is not like a video camera. It reframes and edits events to fit our current map of the world. So next time you go for a walk down … [Read more...] about How to use an old photograph to tell a meaningful new story