“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
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
Back in the dark days of summer 2012, when I had just separated from my husband, I signed up for a public speaking course called Speak Like a TED Talker. The aim was to find my TED-style “idea worth spreading”. As I cast around for ways to articulate my message, it came down to this: I wanted to put an end to silent suffering. Looking back, it was a cry for help. I hadn’t told anyone … [Read more...] about Thanks William and Harry for sharing a story from your scars, not your wounds
I blame Miss Hughes. She was my history teacher in the first form at Bromley Technical High School for Girls – a tiny, silver-haired lady nearing retirement but still full of fervour about her subject. She taught us about the ancient civilisations – the Assyrians, the Babylonians, and then the Egyptians. I was captivated by her stories about the pyramids and how they were built, the mysteries … [Read more...] about What the Ancient Egyptians can teach us about story as legacy