Where my book started
Apparently, when I was young I told people that when I grew up I wanted to be a lorry driver.
Maybe it was because of my dinky car collection, the time I spent playing with it, or that I did not know there were more exciting driving jobs to be had.
However, what I do know is this…
I was brought up in a house filled with books and rather news-obsessed. In my early teens through to my twenties my father worked a lot in in Germany, and because I spoke virtually no German …
…it was rather a godsend when he brought the British newspapers home to us at lunchtime, after they had been flown out from England (those were the days). I loved kneeling on the floor and poring over them; and I loved meeting locally-based British journalists who my father had contact with, and romanticising about a career as one of them.
Other, equally enjoyable, careers led me through a succession of occupations after university (as an agricultural economist working in overseas aid, as a policy officer in local government, and as a manager of an employment rights research, advice and campaigns group).
But aged 40 I decided to live my childhood dream…
To get started as a journalist I leant on the editorial contacts I had from writing columns for local and regional newspapers as part of my last job, but I had soon progressed to writing features for the Guardian and Daily Telegraph and a series of specialist magazines.
But since the start of my self-employment in 2004, as well as writing for the media, I have also done copywriting for business – brochures, case studies, websites, blogs, etc. In 2008 I supplemented these by becoming a trainer in writing skills (initially in journalism topics, but more recently in any kind of business writing), and in 2009 I started copy-editing and proofreading social science books (and occasional journal articles).
Another childhood ambition had been to write a book.
And in a decision taken fairly randomly in 2014, I decided to devote the summer/autumn to the task. Drawing my various occupations together – writing, training, editing and proofreading – seemed to form a coherent whole.
So, the book — to be called BUSINESS WRITING TIPS: For easy and effective results — draws on ten years of experience, and presents tips on the most common writing needs of businesses (ten for each of the 17 chapters), be they working in SMEs, large corporates, and whether public, private or third sector.
I hope it helps.