Week 2: newspaper ideas and meetings

Second week already. I’ve done many more pitches and had many more thoughts. Next week work begins on the paper, in earnest. Here are the main things I did in addition to the usual podcast stuff:

  • Pitched to four different mags/websites and several book publishers with a tentative new idea. Just had one thing I pitched last week potentially picked up for a thing.
  • Made our intro video for Playful (this took a whole day!) & thought about what else we can do there to give a bit of added value to the punters.
  • Had a very nice meeting with Russell about what I can do for them and what they can do for me.
  • Starting reading this quirky business book.
  • Went to the Shepherdess for Russell’s silicon roundabout coffee morning thing! I hardly ever get up early enough for this. The last time was probably last Christmas. FEAR MY NEW EARLY RISING WAYS.

My top 3 work-thoughts this week (yes, only 3 this time, but they’re good ones):

1. The trouble with making the things you wish existed is that you find they fill you up. There is no drawback to having a wide and insatiable appetite for the ideas of others. But when you make the product you’ve wanted the whole time, it’s very hard to find other products exciting enough because there will always be something about them that’s not as perfect for you as the thing you already made. People continue to ask me which podcasts I listen to, which blogs I read. The truth is, my output is much greater than my input.

2. You don’t have to reply to emails immediately. I noticed that I reply to people much faster than they reply to me. I realised it’s a habit, and even though it’s not about having no priorities, or not being busy, or anything like that, that’s probably how it looks. I’ve had emails from people in the last week who I’d been waiting to hear from for weeks – months in some cases. I’m clearly not a priority for them and with no bad will at all, they simply haven’t been at the top of my reply list this week. They won’t notice, I feel more in control of my time. Everyone’s a winner.

3. I’m always using the people who gave me a chance. In all my years meeting media people, very few have been prepared to take a chance on me. And here’s the thing: I haven’t forgotten any of them. And I’m still in touch with most of them… in fact, on the whole there’s no one I’d rather work with more than these people. I don’t know if it’s because of the kind of people they are, or because I feel good about the way they behaved towards me, but the five or six people I’ve met in my life who’ve said “Yes” to me when I had no track record, when I couldn’t really prove myself capable of anything are the ones I’ve since hired for things, or tried to help, followed, recommended and voluntarily plugged whenever the opportunity arose. I realise saying this here may not reflect particularly well on me – but the truth is that being believed in, having someone take a risk on me, is still staggeringly unusual. It’s unreliable, subjective, utterly uncontrollable – and I have absolutely depended on it for the last ten years. Not wanting to disappoint is a great motivator, and the absolute best part is being able, one day, to return the favour.

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