Read this: Media Masters - Elizabeth Day
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Media Masters with Paul Blanchard
welcome to media masters at series of one-to-one interviews with people at the top of the media game today by Elizabeth Dame award-winning author journalist and podcast it since the first column in the Derry Journal aged just 12 years old.
She is written for a number of publications in the US and the UK including the Observer the times that Telegraph the Guardian vogue and Elle she's also columnist for the Mail on Sunday and contributing editor Harper's Bazaar her podcast how to fail was launched last year and has reached the top of the iTunes chart featuring guests including Lily Allen David Baddiel and Michelle Hussain it forms the basis of a forthcoming book how to feel everything I've ever learn from things going wrong Elizabeth thank you for joining me.
Thank you for having me what a lovely introduction.
It was quite lovely.
What's to be done a lot of things you actually hearing it all red back to me is very nice Imposter syndrome as I do anything.
I don't know you didn't know I was saying earlier to you, but it's very flattering that This podcast called Media Masters and I
On it's because I wouldn't consider myself a master or mistress, but it's very very kind of you to have me.
Thank you very flattered.
It's a great pleasure.
I tell us about the podcast you launched.
It only a few months ago and already have completely over taking this one.
She was being something better than we not doing I'm sure that July 2018.
It's a weird thing but that was last year and I wasn't it.
Yes, so that was a deliberate decision actually because I wanted to bunched together the early Seasons so that people got used to it and that there was a bit of a gap but there wasn't too much that I would lose interest if you're a new podcast that's quite important, but the I launched in July not having a clue what I was doing all I knew was that I love listening to podcast myself and I also knew I'd come out of quite a tricky year in my personal life and my 30s were decade when a lot of things went down personally so I got married I got divorced I
Adobe after was unsuccessful my marriage breakdown, I had another relationship that broke down.
It was it was also alongside that wrote four novels and things were going well career-wise, but it's quite interesting that disconnect sometime between the personal professional and I just got to stage in my life where I realise that the most honest and the most engaging and intimate conversations.
I have with my friends were around failure and almost around the missteps in my own life and I got an enormous amount of courage and solidarity from sharing that with my friends and so these two things came together that I love listening to podcasts on the fact that I really value to having his conversation and I thought wouldn't be great if we could open up those conversations and make them more accessible to more people and if we spoke to quote on quote successful people because I know for my day job interviewing celebrities that same as although it comes with so many benefits also comes with you know disadvantages as well.
Often people's journeys haven't been straightforward, so I thought how great would it be if the people that we look at in this kind of Instagram curated generation the people that we look at with supposably perfect lives if they actually admitted to vulnerabilities and that's how the idea started now.
Thought what a great idea now.
I thought I'd also cause.
I love Desert Island Discs as I can wonder if I can use that models if I ask people to come up with three failures and that could form the scaffolding at the discussion and it would also mean that the gas.
Comfortable with the topic so exploring but I wanted to do it almost for my own reasons and because I believed in the concept so I said to myself.
I put my own money into it and I did get a sponsor and amazing homes company doesn't violate their hermès once in healthy.
They loved it and IDM them on Twitter and asked me if they said yes, but that didn't cover all of my course because I want to dip flashing over to be a route to riches I can assure you exactly you do it for love.
Don't you really did that first?
The lab and I relied on friends and contacts to be the interviewees it sounds like my journey in the terms of the only podcast I did really yeah.
I just put it out there and I genuinely did not mind if it doesn't people listened because I was tired of it and I felt that it was it existed in and of its own right and so I put it out there and then it massively connected on a scale that I had never anticipated and that has been one of the most beautiful things of my freshener life genuinely because it's actually made me realise that im being the most honest myself about my vulnerabilities that has created the greatest connection with the greatest number of people and that's a really good lesson.
I think but it's incredibly brave thing to do to put yourself out there in the public sphere with the oven Ribble eighties.
It's really interesting you say that because I thank you but I've never considered it brave.
I consider it quite a natural thing to do but I don't mean that I'm a massive egomaniac.
Talk about myself all the time but I've got an hour so if you do that, then what am I to my mum might be listening so my child of wasn't terrible is that alright but carry on my mum.
I don't necessarily considerate brave because I find in my writing both in novels in journalism the writing I've done that feels most authentic and that flows most easily and that I get most from is the writing where I am being really honest and of course there are certain things that I will never share publicly that involve other people or they're just to private to put in the public domain but I think that one of the things that really motivates me is that idea of connection and if I can help someone feel less Alone by sharing and experience I have been through.
Hasn't been wholly positive and if I can tell that person that although it was incredibly sad at the time.
I gained a lot through it because I gained knowledge and I feel stronger because of it then that for me is really the essence of why I do what I do because I consider myself a communicator first and foremost, but I know that other people don't have that natural inclination and curiosity yes, and I know that other people very kindly have said that is brave and courageous and it's been helpful thing for them.
So I completely respects that yeah, but for me it does seem and natural thing to do and I feel that it's a meaningful thing to do I suppose that's what I'm getting at like.
I I really really get a lot out of the fact that it feels like a meaningful connection with people and I think the meaning is derived from that that authentic honestly that you get from your guests because we're in a kind of hashtag for more Instagram giveaway.
Wrong with a celebrity.
I'd my next on there, but they always put the best of themselves on Instagram having a great time blah blah blah, but most people want that connection.
Did you find it difficult to get guest on dial ditto do you have a queue of people that are wanting to open up interesting me for the First season.
I was worried that it would be difficult to get guests also I freeze my email and my approach is very carefully I said no failures can be anything from failing your driving going on a terrible date to something more profound, but actually I find that people really engage with the idea and if anything they were quite thirsty for it and now I'm at a stage where I'm lucky enough that people are coming to me and wanting to be on it and also I am quite careful about the guess that I have on because you have to be willing to be honest and open but having said that I've also had predominantly male guests on who didn't think that they had failed anything which in and of itself is sort of an interesting interview to do because you're exploring the
Context of that self belief shortwave mind my mentioning him because he is a friend so he was a first season gas is actually the first interview that I ever did for the podcast and he sent me an email tongue-in-cheek beforehand because I'd asking for these three failures his I don't think I'm the right person for This podcast cos I'm not sure I really have to get the instances of failure were like cooking a souffle, but fail to rise and not winning a tennis match but his point was when we got to speak and when when we got more in depth about it was that it's actually just tell you see it.
So yes, he has lost that tennis match but he had had a wonderful Experience playing alongside his friend and he got a lot out of Sport yes, he fail to win this prestigious literary prize but he's come second and wasn't that wonderful so it's that kind of positive minds that I actually think a lot of people can.
Learn from so that's a very long winded answer is that is a long-winded way of saying that actually I found that people are more willing to be intimate than I had realised and I do think that a lot of celebrities to give them that you are frustrated by the kind of pr.
Curated celebrity interview way if I got hotel room jumping and you get 20 minutes and you'll have to ask them all the questions that you're additives ask to ask and a lot of the time.
That's about you know break up for the want to talk about it or what was it like working with Thursday or or you're a woman in your early 30s.
Do you want children and that's frustrating for the journalist? Is it is for the famous person so for me.
It was a real liberation being able to do more free-ranging interview as I'm sure you'll find as well and this format any many cents.
Is there similar format because my next question was about that the length of the podcast you know if you have a Canon mf4700.
It was only a 12 Minute podcast you're only going to get quick bullet points and you're not really going to get the depth.
It's like he like this interview you have that depth and
Space for people to to talk about themselves totally and I do think the podcast like this really show that there is a demand an appetite for it because as well as living in a culture which is mediated by social media posts and filters and quote on quote perfect lives and #blessed we also live in a culture of such a 24-hour new Cycles and signed by it from our politicians and our attention is so constantly diverted that actually it's a real relief to sink into a bath of conversation rather than a brief shower have a News Bulletin and that makes me very happy really because I'm all about long for Media weather is in writing or audit Reform Act like this one.
I think that that says a lot about human insight and and is a positive thing for the future and what's the best thing about the podcast for you mean obviously those things like.
Being at the top of the chart and the axis that gives you the recognition are all great but like for example with this podcast.
I genuinely do enjoy the conversation.
I get to meet interesting people and you have this does give you that can access and to connect with people in a meaningful way that you wouldn't have the opportunity definitely I think when people say yes to coming on the podcast they know that it's going to go out as they've said it rather than when you're writing up an interview want to see you're always going to have to choose which quotes to use because of word count for me the best thing about doing a podcast has been the liberation of the Freedom of the format and and definitely meeting people or sometimes interviewing friends of people I know very well but in a very different context and generally by the time.
I'm not chasing a news line frankly you don't want you're not trying to not in Trap the interviewee but you're not trying to get them to say something that you can get a page lead out of the next day and the time.
Sitting opposite a gas they have committed to the idea the podcast so they know what it's about and a lot of the time.
They've sent me three instances of failure therefore.
There's a degree of comfort that comes with it.
They know that I'm not going to cut a booby trap and that really lovely it's so yeah, it's it's the connection with the person.
I'm interviewing but beyond that the thing that I find really most wonderful night.
It is the connection with the listeners, so people know message me on Instagram or Little Lever most often about the podcast and also about things.
I write which is wonderful but it's been incredibly moving reading some of those messages from people who said that it's got them through really difficult time in their lives and massively appreciate all of that I really do it's amazing and what's the psychology behind people putting themselves into it now given that you've got this level of recognition out when you saying that you have to list three failures to pick yourself in if someone pictures himself in and they're not going to.
Don't want them on do you actually right back and say well actually? I can give you 1/4 failure.
Would you that you've not got onto This podcast so I couldn't resist that very nice what happens is because I'm an author and because I didn't know what I was doing at the outset and my podcast is categorised as the literature podcast items get a lot of book publicists coming to me so with all fours pitching authors and and generally they are amazing all those who I am so keen to interview but because there's like a great way.
I feel less bad saying to the publicist rather than the person question I don't think this person is quite right although.
I'm quite got that.
I don't have to say that I tend to say I've already got this season fully booked up which is true because I made a decision at that I was going to do seasons of 8 weeks and then have some time off so that I could record the podcast in advance and therefore minimise the stress.
I honestly like a weekly podcast I know Deborah frances-white.
He was one of my forthcoming guess who does the guilty feminist podcast weekly like different girls every single time and that is an enormous pressure and I just would burn myself out so this what causes a weekly is it it is but we do it for weed.
We do them in bunches, right.
You know it's you asking for the questions.
I could have enough to let our listeners into the secret spell record V VI and VII rate in advance how to solder a total of 1 week world record 6 podcasts and forget about it for a couple of months.
Do you do if there's a shop but you never do two in one day.
Yes, but very rarely back-to-back.
I try not to cause I'm usually knackered by the end of the Felixstowe knackering isn't have to listen to The Guess That's my only interviewing technique actually just listen to what you saying.
Yeah, which everyone seems to think is revolutionary when you go on things like LBC Endings are not did you see the presenter in front of you and they've got a bulleted list of questions and they just working their way through it.
Question 2 is completely unrelated to what the answer your answer to question 1 was where's I just have this revolutionary Technika just listening to you.
I'm exactly the same and it's my my number one tip when you want to be journalist common ask me occasionally for advice and about how to do interviews are not listen.
It's the one thing that because people make the mistake.
I think of thinking and interview is about the quality of your questions and actually your questions don't have to be like great your question can be a really really basic one and I I find some of the most interesting questions are tell me about your family all at how did you go out because often that has the key to what a person later becomes and I went through the spaces the newspaper journalist of interviewing celebrities all of whom had moved around a lot of kids and so they change schools a lot either because they are from military families or name drop Clint Eastwood Clint Eastwood because his father worked for on Ark
The roads building roads and infrastructure Christina Hendricks guitar Dad work for the forestry commission any in all these people and had to change schools a lot and and make themselves popular and make friends as quickly as they could and then you school and so they became performers and that was off and why they then turned their hand to that professionally and I find stuff like that really fascinating.
I've some questions that I go to I might be mine to be in style, but I'm always interesting what inspired people along this journey with it.
Be your did like the podcast all journalism.
Why you want to be jealous person ask people about what their typical week is can I interest and I can't get out of that what people do in the Rope day today gets them to reveal the four or five different things that they're on within the moment.
He says that he starts every interview with the describe typical day and and the vast majority of people say no such thing as difficult and then I'll be like or what did you do today?
Alright, it's very revealing what let me start with some stop questioning want to be a journalist said that is one of my stock questions if you want to be a writer.
What did you want to be when you were young and you when you got up and I grow up.
I always wanted to be a writer which looking back is quite hard because there were no right as in my family when I was more grown up.
I did meet and sort of distant is cousin here is a journalist, but there were no immediate kind of novelist examples.
I can look to you, but I remember very vividly age for designing.
I want us to write books which makes me sound like a bit of a precocious proud, but I think it's because I loved books.
I was lucky that I grew up in a house surrounded by books incredibly lucky in that my parents fostering me a love of reading my father used to ring me bedtime stories my mother taught me to Reading right before I went to school and all of those things I loved being surrounded by and then I remember age 7 deciding that why you nice and really makes the money before I launch into writing.
Argos I should become a journalist because it's still writing and I Love Stands very precocious and well Thought Out I will not that well goes out when you can fit, what printer Mr actually pay anything else in power and fortunately I know so I know it is it is slightly strange.
I think I was just quite a strong minded child's and I don't know where all of those strong opinions have gone really but yeah that was a team age 7 and then and you first column a 12-year follow-up because I ain't had started saying I really love writing it becomes a source of virtuous circle.
So then writing becomes Elizabeth thing and so teachers at school be encouraging as well and everyone cycle write a story for our Christmas present and I used to write long letters to my grandparents and stuff and then I met a girl a real life journalist who was staying at health farm down the road from us.
I grew up in the north of Ireland and it was the first health farm in the province and she was a genus call.
Lynda Gill being she worked for Sunday life newspaper in.
Belfast and I was so excited when I heard that there was a real life journalist near me that I asked to meet her I met her and she gave me brilliant advice.
She's like if you want to be a journalist start start now get as much work as you possibly can and that really changed my life and I took it so literally that I wrote to the Editors of all the local papers so I was lucky enough but the Derry Journal got back in touch and I said I think you should have a children's call them and I am willing to write it.
I'm sure you can write said column and my mother had a drive me to his house and we met on the weekend.
He was at what ideas do you have and I told him he's ok.
Let's give it a go but I gave me a fortnightly call him.
It was really amazing and I'm forever grateful to those two people specifically he paid me as well.
I remember getting my first paycheck for £72 and I remember buying a pair of black Doc Marten boots with purple laces with that money and
Are you earned? Yeah? It's not eating footwear has never felt so good and I still get an enormous bus from the fact that I can earn money from the power of my pen.
I think it's a beautiful thing.
I'm very lucky and it's a shame because that journalism itself is just there's no money in it these days, so it's great that you've established that brand because you're not with Jeremy Vine on the podcast of the week there couple of years ago.
He was saying that when he started at the Leicester Mercury or whatever.
You will be 50 people in The Newsroom and now the beaver look if you would like to have sex yeah, it has been really sad to see the decline in resources in print journalism.
I was very very lucky in that.
I think I got in just at the like end of the glory days of Fleet Street so I graduated university in 2001 and my first job is on the evening Standard and I started in September 2001 just after 9:11 and I was very lucky and that I got that chance.
I think it's so hard now to get a foothold.
I done lots of work experience along the way but I think it's incredibly half people who like me don't have her family background and media that is rung on the ladder.
Yeah, it's really difficult unless you have someone who gives you an opportunity and I was very lucky in that respect and yeah, and I and I started out as a dialysis and then I became a news journalist and to see the Shrinking of like properly great reporting on newspapers is so so very sad and yeah, the thing is is that im actually unfashionably optimistic about Prince because I think that we're in the in the bottom of the dip at the moment and I think it's going to climb up again because I think as we talking about earlier.
The first was as of long-form meaningful journalism lends itself.
Very well to print and long reads and I think we've seen that with the popularity of the Guardian long read section and so I see them up for my flights.
I've put them on Pocket Edition
Yeah, exactly, it's like the print form of a podcast in a way and I actually think that the younger generation so like the gen Z is a turning away from too much screen time and too much social media and I feel but they will like reading more and so I'm I'm still optimistic that it I still think journalism isn't is an unbelievably brilliant career and I would never put off a young person from pursuing it.
It's incredible with this very podcast as we have a human being that transcribes them Ali she's lovely you like the fact of name checked it should be transcribing that I Self medicate very grateful.
She's amazing but we will sparrow brushes as she's transcribing.
It's one of them as I was going to say is interestingly about 8 7 or 8% of our listeners Russian leaders of This podcast.
They don't listen to the audio, but they do read the transcript.
Where do you put the transcript? We put on the website Media Masters 2fm.
That is great.
It's obviously very good for deaf people because it's it's every single word that was there was said on at this automated services.
They do it now and just to get this is about you.
So let's go back to you going back to when you're an aspiring journalist.
Did you have her an idea of the type of journalists that you wanted to be you know was it the kind of Woodward Bernstein investigative journalism changed the world at slightly softer more news driven.
What what was your idea of a journalist? That is such a great question I've never been after my idea of a journalist was Julius wahala her in the Prescot boring relationship was amazing.
It was amazing to me.
It was just so glamorous, but not bossy.
That's a pejorative term but set event you should I say up with Kate Adie is my idol.
She's amazing who is amazing and really really took me that women could do anything.
Hi Anne Margaret Thatcher whatever you think of Margaret Thatcher's politics the fact that I had a female prime minister and Kate Adie breaking these stories from war zones and doing what male war Correspondents been doing for decades and bring that to my consciousness with a huge deal for me.
I remember that very vividly, but that wasn't quite jealous.
I wanted to be with very interest in politics when I was younger and I wanted to be a political journalist and I had visions of myself stomping around the house of commons Breaking All These exclusive in print or on screen imprint always on 2B print genus.
You never was never on the 1:00 news never and I've never wanted to be an editor either.io it is the writing that Drew me into it and I'm writing is my first love and really what I consider to be without sounding pretentious a vacation like it's something that I can never imagine not doing so and I would not editing takes you away from writing and it doesn't really interest me so I thought I was going to be a
Tickle Janice bitlife, don't think that would be a political journalist now now very grateful and not it's really hard work without being in the shallow end of beaches.
What is good journey time to work every hour godsend and break stories in out the Pacers extraordinary, but that I sound and fury signifying nothing we have to Tim Shipman on the potty as a friend of mine.
I really like the kind.
I really never week in the Sunday Times of course but basically he's your part of his stickers.
I have no more of a clue than you do.
They're all crazy.
I love Tims book as well.
I mean they are such compelling Reeves yes, so basically I saw myself as the female Tim Shipman but it didn't work out the window and and I'm grateful that I didn't because I had a really interesting route through journalism as a result and and I love writing features because you get more of a chance to write actually to write because I think I realise quite early on that.
They were brilliant news reporters who broke stories and had a real hunger for that and there were people who were drawn more to the art of the writing and that was me the writing one.
We've written extensively about lots of different things and you've done celebrity interviews psychological novels have been for it doesn't crime reportage even just saying that you only do features that's quite a broad range of things that you can write about a fantastic amount of freedom to have it is to be fair to my own trajectory.
I did have a time at the Sunday Telegraph I was there for three-and-a-half years on the dommett Lawson who is one of the best ever since I've ever worked with and I was unusable today and then I became religious affairs correspondent which is my way of getting on staff and I don't know one of you by religious affairs, but I learnt on the job and it was kind of fascinating as the way I did get used to breaking stories and there is a real like adrenaline buzzer comes from that but I knew that I always wanted to concentrate more.
On the craft of writing and you're right in the I get to do an enormous variety of things and in a way there was a patch in my late 20s when I worried that I was a sort of jack of all trades and master of none and I got a reputation as being someone you can ask to do anything and I would say yes, and I would turn my heated southern a good thing.
I don't know but I did at the time because I felt that I was occasionally being exploited like that not in her notice of harassment way just in terms of Princess I was on staff Observer for 8 years and I was a feature writer that which is a dream job really but I would be asked to do a bloody Q&A Avenue review which of the page 3 thing which is where you have to go an interview someone and it's as much work as a normal interview because he got to think of the questions.
Go and do it type it all up, but it is verbatim.
So you don't get any of the chance to do any.
Uno flash writing a literary discussion Lancer and I got you could send a stenographer to do a good idea to reputation for being good at them, which I suppose is nice, but I also got a reputation of saying yes to them, but I felt but as a professional I should say ask when my superiors is do you love me, but it meant that I felt I felt I don't know if this is true, but I felt that I was taken less seriously as a result and a very good friend of mine actually.
He's also journalist said to me you have to be careful that you won't that you're not becoming features live is like you've got to say no to more stuff and be selective because actually that's how you carve out a reputation for yourself as a quote on quote serious writer as in one who has taken seriously and I think he was right and I think that's why things like The Guardian long reads are respected is because they have the resources to give a writer a couple of months to look into something in a really in-depth way, where is I felt at some point in my career?
Just telling my hands everything and I wasn't immersing myself properly in one subject having said that the amazing advantage of being the Observer was I got to do Pete like some of the pieces.
I'm most proud of still because they've just there was there was enough space like I could write 5000 words on a Swedish serial killer Who Never Was who made a succession of false confessions and that that kind of thing was so much right yet.
There was so much writing I mean sometimes.
I would feel I was going slightly bonkers because I'd have one week was doing yeah like a Swedish serial killer, then I can man with locked in syndrome and can I be writing a comment piece about the return of the female rock star and then I'll be doing like a book review on the sofa and then I'll be doing it for the magazine about wearing new high heels for a week, but the sheer variety in the shear stimulation of that was such a brilliant learning experience think someone once said that journalism is the worst job in the world unless you just have to think that it's the best.
Open the world.
I mean I do definitely think it's I think making my living as a writer is the best job in the world.
So how would you write it depends? What format are iPhone novels all the different writing styles, how do you actually how do you do it? What is a typical day? So if I'm writing journalism.
I will get that done first because Jenner's and deadlines are far tighter than brick deadlines and I will generally write that at my desk.
So I have I'm now a freelancer and I have a desk in my flat with a very nice of you, and I it's important to me as I'm sure it's lots of freelancers psychologically to have like a space where I work rather than landing around my pyjamas are doing everything in my bed, so I will go and sit on my desk and I will write the whatever the genus decommission is and then generally I will take my laptop in the afternoons to a local cafe, and that's where I write my
So it's important for me to be around the hubbub of other people when I'm writing fiction because that would put me off these people arguing with the Starbucks barista that they've only got something so sometimes it becomes too much for her Bob and I need to plug in my earphones and listen to classical music.
That's the only thing I can listen to when I'm writing what you still want to be in the cafe.
Yes, I do and I'm not entirely sure why that is I think it's possibly because I need a psychological separation between fiction writing and journalism.
They just being in a different space is helpful for getting me into a different mindset and it's also partly because it gives me the opportunity to observe human interaction and and I do sometimes I worry because you know the life of a freelance journalist can be quite solitary and I love that but it does sometimes mean that I might not speak to anyone all day apart from the Sainsbury's checkout man and so
Like being around on the people and sometimes snatchers with dialogue from the cafe have made their way into the novels having said that over the last couple of novels.
I found it tremendously helpful to go away somewhere at the beginning and at the end, so I dunno my I spend quite a bit of time in LA which side is a place.
I love and the party which is my latest novel.
I had in a 3 months in La actually working for your server, but I was writing a party in the afternoons and I went back to LA recently when I had to meet a very tight book deadline and there's something about that.
I find very helpful as well because you're away from your normal life normal routine and it is helpful at the beginning with an ends.
Just to be able to concentrate on one thing I'm in La one week out of every month and crazy schedule butter which day at I say on now, Hollywood Boulevard Ohio anyway.
We'll talk but it is a crazy play.
Yeah, there's a lot of time on.
I love la so much is like it's my weirdly.
I never would have expected it myself, but I fight I think it's my spiritual home.
I spend half my bed with the week in America then I alternate between New York and Alexa have clients that but it is incredible that juxtaposition every time in LA I think this is far better than New York he got the palm trees and all the space is all the creativity and then when I'm in New York annihilate.
This is why it's out the culture the business that, as the busyness some quite fickle really whichever time in that we have a coast about that moment.
She's a nice girl.
I just love LA and every time I get in your hair right.
This is just like London but let's friendly is genuinely what I've been giving you what I'm going to generalize now, but with New York is a blunt into the point but you know where you are with them.
Where is the I've always found with a list of all the old crackers, Llanelli
Angry clothes of faith healers in Belfast I am not into any of that in LA and it was to live life for a week as Gwyneth Paltrow so I got to experience all of that faith healer soundbars weird kind of facial therapy and the one thing that everyone always remember that pieces that I had my vagina stinging while this is a family podcast so we won't ask about that.
What do you think things are good next for me personally? That's a very good question many people are quite proud of the fact that they don't have a plan that they work out there.
You know that they carry on what they doing in there.
So we'll see where it takes me.
Do you know what that is a mindset that I have actively sought to cultivate because I am naturally an inveterate planner and I think I've always had a kind of plan and a strategy and I've always worked over play.
And I think I've over plans yet, and I think I've over worried and actually if the last he has taught me anything.
It's that sometimes the most unexpected things can be the most filling and so I like to be open to that which means not over planning, so what comes next in the immediate future is that I have had the height of a book out in April and I'm looking for that because it's my first non-fiction book and I'll be not to promotion around that and then be on that.
I'm really happy to see where that takes me and how that's received.
Also be working on a new novel.
I started a new novel so and and I'm I've just started as a columnist on you on the Mail on Sunday and so I really want to do a good job there, so I'll be concentrating a lot on that as well.
So that's that's enough for my year and I don't really want to think 5 years ahead and given that you keep are increasing in prominence in terms of the column and the podcast.
How is your impact on social media been at people start interacting I remember just in research for This podcast I was looking your social media profile and someone was asking you weird questions about the way you were stood in a picture using get quite a few creepy Man U top lock.
What do you do? I need as unless someone I did get a death threat once and I'll block that person.
I'm not surprised unless it's really sinister or it's someone who's been actively rude.
I will block them but generally I generally Mewtwo because it's so nice not knowing I cannot say another thing that I've taught myself is not to look at the comments not looking online comments below the line do it.
It's quite easy to stick to it and it's so much nicer.
It's like I can just believe what I believe that if I think what I've written has merit.
That is what I have to stick to it, but social media is a funny bee.
I think I'm lucky in that.
I've got quite a good relationship with it.
I'm not someone who finds myself to find by it either negatively or positively and I can quite easily not look at it it just so happens that I quite enjoy it and I do think it's you know Instagram is the most incredible marketing tool The Pot for nothing else, but I like it's around because it's predominantly a visual medium and and it's a source of mobile photo album and I've noticed since the podcast of taking off.
I've got a lot more interactions on Instagram rather than any other form Twitter I like for jokes and also for generating column ideas is quite interesting if you put something on Twitter and see what takes like see what gets the response and then like oh, maybe I could write something about this and I find it useful for getting in touch with people which is very good for building relationships.
I've had a lot of my work relationships even podcast guess.
I'll invite them on Twitter definitely and I also think again.
As that solitary freelancer.
There's a very supportive community of fellow Writers on various social media platforms and particularly Instagram and Twitter and that's how a lot of listeners contact me as well.
So for me.
It's it's definitely more positive than the negative.
Would you want to work in an office environment like you did before cuz I mean I know we've we've got the idyllic dream of you can of writing the that the stuff you don't you pyjamas at that there's then going into the coffee shop, but would you ever return to an office on news Newsroom environment never ever ever ever I can tell you that I mean I have to I find officers waste a lot of time and eating some pleasantries exactly and you make good friends, but I also find it frustrating because I'm I'm I'm very self disciplined which is a useful skill for a freelancer and actually when I work from home.
I can get things done so much more quickly than if I were doing the same work in an office.
I feel that might bite my experience has been is that in an office you eat out something you have to do like a piece of subtle caramel.
You stretch it lasts the whole week.
I can't stand presenteeism culture where you have to be in by a certain time and you have to stay until at least 18 because if I've done my work.
I feel like she wants to go and I find them stultifying and Clancy creative actually offices and I did have this experience and relatively recently.
I was asked to do some kind of Consulting work for a branding agency and they asked me to come in the office and I went into the office and I was treated like I was a member of staff and they like set me up with the computer internet and honesty I almost came out in a rash.
I like I cannot stand it was horrible.
I couldn't wait to get out of that and then I sent an email saying I'm really sorry this is it for me? I won't have time so I pretended I yeah.
I'm smashed the place up in protest and then just done one hour long lunch.
Mike and Ike why why am I even looking at my watch my lunch break? I should be able to do what I want.
I have an individual anyway.
No, I didn't you can tell that I'm not an office not enough.
It's time you learnt from doing the podcast but in terms of the craft of podcasting but also from the guess.
I'm in Abbey have done about 160 days to my sins and I can think of five and six things that are really changed my like just a I edit a comment in aside from a guest hearing there.
You know what I call eyebrow razors and they've already stuck with me, so I feel privileged to do this because I am interested in all the guests I've got a curious person, but I have genuinely have some incredible experiences you some things have really stuck with me and it's often the unexpected interviewees so one of my gas was James Fry who is an American writer and he famously wrote what was meant to be A Memoir called a million little pieces and it was chosen by oprah's book club and it's sold millions of
Please globally and then he was unmasked as the fabricator and it actually he'd made most of it up and Oprah holding back on and took into pieces and since then he's become a successful novelist and he came on the podcast and a lot of people although they listen to that episode they slightly took exception to him because he comes across as being quite arrogant one of the things that he said with one of my mattresses fail fast fail often and he was like you know who cares if it fails because I do not want to feel well not right about it.
I don't want to feel but I prefer to not fail you have to take a stab at it in order to get to the thing and often failure is just a subjective opinion so his whole Outlook was to be a stoic as possible failure and success were kind of flip sides of the same coin and they were just subjective opinions.
The most important thing is to be yourself and be true to yourself and that's stuck with me because I think it taps into a lot of what I think about you now sausage doing yoga for years back and that idea of having of existing apart from your thoughts.
I think if you're like you and I do miss mindfulness and you're used to like thinking 100 miles per hour about any given new story in having to write to deadline.
It's quite frenetic pace and it's a true creativity my best ice cream in the shower when I left my phone somewhere in another room when I've got a minute of grief.
I think I like on Twitter for the next minute and I think about buying something that idea that you exist apart from your thoughts.
I think is a very very helpful 14.
Just coming down.
So that was one thing one thing I really picked up for the forecast and the other one was an injury that I did with a t.
Are you back but who is also a brilliant podcast at her podcast school in good company and she said her mother had given her this advice once which was not everyone's going to collect for you and again.
I just Revisited that recently and it came up in my head now that that's very useful.
Not everyone is going to be happy for your success or time.
Obviously done rather then uses one of these lessons in life is ever learnt is that not everyone wishes you well and I was stuck with me and not everyone is going to like you and I think I was a people-pleaser for many many years professionally only know the fact.
I said yes to everything my Q&A personally in relationships and actually I ended up getting married and then I got divorced and there's nothing like getting divorced to teach you that not everyone is going to like you and it would be helpful lesson for me, but when I feel you.
I went bankrupt many many years ago over a decade ago.
I bet that was a lot of shame and a lot of agony the time but my Tommy reframing which is.
If you met someone in a pub in Nederland they've gone bankrupt 12 years ago although.
You'll only got divorced 10 years ago.
Would you actually think it looks them? I would actually make you think of the quite interesting person.
Would you judge them and the reality is that if you a nice person? You don't judge people who failed like that.
He clearly did Rob da Bank all the other been nasty and a horrible in imprisoned in of course you would but people things happen to people down there definitely and I think the thing to remember is that you was an individual know the truth of what happened and a lot of other people who form judgements of you won't know the exact truth and they won't know the agony that has gone into producing a piece of writing or a podcast or they won't understand how much it means to you and and they'll have their own baggage at they bring to it.
Which is about bad stuff that happened to them and more about them than he does about you exactly and that's all of that has been a useful Latin but it has taken me awhile.
It's really hard because people fetishize failure predicting the business community now and one of the things that interest me about your podcast is it?
It's really emotional actual failure that people don't necessarily feel comfortable about talking about ways if you get a and Anthony Robbins or Bill Gates character.
They often preface their big business speech on the stage with as you know they fail 5 or 6 times a year but they're not turned around a job billion dollar business and and the filly was almost just ate the springboard to the amazing Heights of success.
They don't dwell on the fact that they were you have been miserable for 5-6 years.
I think that something that I only realised through doing available Casa in the entrepreneurship community failure is worn as a badge of honour because there are certain venture capitalist who will only invest if you got to failure still name and then there's a sense that you've learnt from those and therefore it's like third time lucky.
It is always more interesting to me when someone talks about failure in a very real way and and I do you think I'm very honoured that most of my podcast guests have opened up in a very moving way and a very authentic way.
I think that we also live in a time as well as
Population of Instagram perfection I think the other extreme of that is the curation of imperfection and what I mean by that is various people who have reinvented themselves as campaigners saying that we should all Embrace the negative actually do we have and whilst that's amazing and so many ways like I'm all full body positivity and and someone as I thought I also think that there's a pressure that comes with that.
There's a pressure if you're sitting there thinking why don't feel that great but my body but I've been told I need to embrace embrace about actually I want to lose some weight and go to the gym your made to feel bad both ways your meeting about exactly your made to feel bad for going to the gym too much your made to feel bad for not going off and I just think that there's too much judgement really and and there's completely messages.
I mean there's often can a jockey mockups have like cosmopolitan front page is where it will say why your man should love you for who you are and then the next headline.
Is how to lose 20 lb women's magazines coming for a lot of stick and I actually don't think a lot of it as warranted because I think you know Farrah storr cosmopolitan is such a brilliant editor and does a lot as she a former intern, for me today and she is amazing and does a lot so I think that's a historical argument that luckily no longer really bad way because I think actually the women's magazines have come under so much scrutiny that they're the ones off and doing the most inventive stuff, so I feel less judge by them and more judge buying a preacher people are just so much negativity on social media.
I feel sorry for a lot of these people they just seem to be so horrible all the time.
I'm not possible want embrace now.
I know and it's something I remember listening so one of my other favourite podcast the high-low would only want to see Nana Patekar interview.
But I remember them having a discussion about because Instagram again has come in for criticism for projecting an unrealistic way of life.
They both like you know I don't want him to go and see a picture of picking them and it's too I feel I know what Instagram is.
It's not real life and it's a snapshot of real life.
I think I was thinking about this with the day and I've got an Instagram apple pictures my dogs on a mic car you know and I'll take a picture of my wife and she will decide with am I allowed to put it on or not and it will be that's her choice but ultimately it's not the whole truth because I don't put on that.
You're not yet another boring day at the office dealing with the emails or whatever if I put a picture my car on it's always when he's been cleaned.
I would never put it on before yes, and that's fine because I don't want to see no no, I don't want to see a picture of you answering your emails and therefore I know why I'm going on Instagram as well.
I'm going on Instagram because I like seeing pictures of your dogs and I know that having a dog is actually lot of work.
Can you go for walks need to pick up their shit in a little but I don't exactly but there is that there is that worrying that because I do this a little bit but the people I'm falling.
I wish them well.
I'm glad they're having a great time, but there is it is there not a kind of threat to mental health that you don't have to 20 consecutive images of lots of people having a great time if you're feeling a bit down that you might think your neighbour's #fomo why is Evan Halshaw my great time and I'm not I'm sure there is in which case you know that that's happening stop following those two that away from the gram as I mean.
They're not even sometimes it I understand it's hard to step away, but stop following those people unfollow people who make you inspired iPhone have a lot of jewellery designers and artists and people who post like actually Farrah storr husband will store who is the writer of that he has a beautiful.
He just takes beautiful photographs of landscape it so so I think there are ways of handling at yourself and actually it's in.
Tantalizing to to try and media Instagram for the people you're in control of how you digest it so take control and and feel better about it one of the amazing things about Twitter that I discovered a couple of years ago that you can mute certain words that like I can see the football to be a waste of time so when the World Cup was on any mention of the world and cut-off FIFA adjusted and even now.
I'll have weeks when you the word brexit because I kind of people they have never seen and also have other times like brake discs apple PIN Dropout live performance short story studio.
That's right then drop started a few years ago 2012 now when I am I a good friend of mine who I met on my gap years on my oldest friends and he opens art gallery and ID
She said I should be alright for residents and then from that develops the idea of having a kind of Jackanory for Grown Ups as children with so often read aloud to and I lose that joy when you're a grown up and so from that seed development idea that we would read short stories in beautiful locations and anyone could come and listen and it would be a touch of snapshot of what it was like to read an entire book.
So it wouldn't take as much time you can carry on with your evening afterwards you could switch off your mobile phone and really engage on a tangible level with something in media and live and beautiful and it honestly snowboard from that and it began with me reading a short story every Wednesday my friends art gallery and having Flow Free hot chocolate forever turned up and then I rose by 60% and then audible got in touch on his sponsor it and then it must be snowball from there and I'm not involve.
Day-to-day now and Simon my friend runs it full-time and we have amazing location so we do a series of the Royal Academy we do your series at Soho house.
We've done events in allowed on events in the Houses of Parliament we done the events in various colors art galleries and last year assignment edited the first ever pin drop short story Anthology where we have not only winners of the pin drop short story competition which happens every year in association with the ra, but former leaders of ours who included Lionel Shriver Will Self Ben okri, so it's been over that's been a beautiful processing again.
I think we identified a demand that we hadn't really realise was there before not only from people who were falling back in love with a short story format but also from authors who didn't feel that there was enough outlet for short story performances, so it's been a really lovely thing but as I say I'm not involve day today now.
I just gets turn up two.
On events and be credited with being the cough and exactly must give you a real sense of Pride that you can start something and see it flourish.
Yeah, it does it does and again.
It was a really nice lesson in I allowed to develop organically they really came from a friendship a proper friendship and that's a lovely thing and it came from something that we were both passionate about it.
So they said of intersection between art and literature and yeah, it has been really lovely to see it.
Go on to greater things and that she's a short affair which is the book which is the Anthology of short stories is I'm not just saying this because I actually wasn't involved in any of the production of Advanced submitting a story myself, but it pairs short stories with specially commissioned art works from Royal Academy students, and it is such a beautiful book the covers designed by this artist called Eddie Peake who is phenomenal and it just it is a very beautiful thing as well as being a thing that contains wonderful writing so I'm very proud of that final few questions, what advice would you give to?
Listening to this the wants to be the next Elizabeth day, so there an aspiring journalist in might be doing a course they might be there might be a 12-year-old writing a column for a local paper although I doubt it and what am I should you give them first of all? I'd say that's so lovely and have flattering.
I'd say don't be the next Elizabeth day, because I just be driven with self doubt and anxiety no, I wouldn't say that.
I would say what Linda gilbey said to me all these years ago which was get as much work experience as you possibly can because really can only become a writer if you write.
I know that that sounds basic, but a lot of people are put off writing novels because they want to come up with the perfect idea and they imagine the perfect execution they never actually do it because the thing about writing is there is actually an exercise in imperfection.
It's never going to be as good as you imagine your head and it only way you can learn it is by getting over yourself and put it on my page am writing exactly so that would be a massive piece of advice another one would be don't be displayed.
Buy the naysayers the people who say print journalism is dead or the people who say you can't get into the museum unless you have family connections because I am a big big believer in the fact that Talent will out and if you have Talent and if you have application I believe that that will be rewarded and then I would say also not to worry if it seems like your life is stagnant or going in slightly the wrong direction because actually those periods of gestation and said unexpected turns can sometimes a forward you the greatest opportunities and you can never see them until they are right in front of you and so I would say not to worry too much about not being on a motorway to success because actually the B roads as so much more in lightning and the Landscape is much better just to overextend a metaphor horribly Elizabeth it's been a hugely enjoyable podcast.
Thank you ever so much free time.
Thank you so much for having me for
right angles podcast in association with big things Media
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