Way back in the mists of time, when dinosaurs roamed the earth and the stars were in different constellations, Freelance Unbound tagged me in a journalism meme. It's only taken me slightly less than a year to get round to doing it.
Which words do you use too much in your writing?
"Lovely", in my blog/ social networking writing - although it's not a word that crops up much when writing about youth policy or social work. "Young people" - but I can't help that.
Which words do you consider overused in stuff you read?
In raw copy, "launched a new". I hate that.
What’s your favourite piece of writing by you?
Being a hackette for hire, things I write don't tend to stay in my memory. I read past articles and think "Blimey, I knew a lot back then." But in my first few weeks at uni I contributed a feature length interview with Liam from the Prodigy, arranged off my own bat, to the uni paper. Looking back it is embarassingly studenty and written by someone who doesn't know rave from ballet, but I was very proud of myself at the time. But perhaps my favourite is this Star Trek/ Harry Potter pastiche
What blog post do you wish you’d written?
Much like my own work blogs are quite ephemeral to me so I read, enjoy, then forget. Perhaps Come Dine With Me In The Tardis.
Regrets, do you have a few? Is there anything you wish you hadn’t written?
Nothing has come back to bite me so far and while I'm sure there have been complaints (although I can't remember any - oh, I recall a company once complained about me saying they had gone bankrupt when in fact it was some fiddly near-bankruptcy thing) nothing has been so inaccurate that I have been sued or anything, so no, unless it was so traumatic I have erased it from my memory. Possibly spending the first half of my career writing about how to market to children (among other things) and the second half writing about the pernicious effects of marketing to children (among other things) wasn't the best idea, but hey.
How has your writing made a difference?
Hopefully some things I have written have helped youth workers, social workers etc to do their job. Also I do think some of the articles I wrote as part of a general campaign to make writing about young people more positive, or at lease less negative, had an effect. People were always quoting our survey even when it was ancient.
Name three favourite words
Crystalline, champagne, chocolate
…And three words you’re not so keen on
"Wherefore art thou", when used to mean "Where are you?" in a headline or standfirst. IT DOESN'T MEAN THAT.
Do you have a writing mentor, role model or inspiration?
I want to be Zoe Williams. She gets to write about TV and being a mum, and gets paid for it. Polly Toynbee is an inspiration in my less shallow moments. When I was younger I wanted to be Polly Vernon but she annoys me now. Who cares what she bought this week?
What’s your writing ambition?
To write a novel. It's about mysterious goings on in the cinema I used to work in. It will never happen.
Plug alert! List any work you would like to tell your readers about:
Nothing of mine. You should read A Typical Essex Girl, she is great.
I can't tag anyone as it's much too late. ATEG, you should do it - the questions pertain just as much to general writing as journalism. Anyway, Yo! magazine counts as journalism.
An interview with Sarah Matthias
1 day ago