Someone recently asked me why I write. I had to go back several years to remember how I was first published as a writer and why.
In the late 1990s, my sister was dating a music promoter which brought a level of perks and benefits. This included an advance copy of Portishead Live, from the Bristol Trip-Hop band whose arrival on the scene in 1995 had confounded, perplexed and exhilarated. Seizing upon this inside info, I contacted BUZZ, Cardiff’s local listings monthly, offering to write a pre-release review.
With foot now firmly in door, I threw myself into Cardiff’s music life, exploring and championing some weird and very wonderful bands as my passion for writing took flight. I now reviewed CDs and interviewed artists for The Big Issue, Flipside Magazine (a short-lived UK national pitched as a rival to Melody Maker and the NME) and DrownedInSound.com, where I announced myself to them on their First Birthday.
While writing for Flipside, a certain demo caught my attention. Four beautifully written songs of simple love and desire. The band was Coldplay and I insisted my editor set up an interview because they were certain to blow soon. Sure enough, he did and our debut interview with the band was their first to be published, beating the NME by a few days.
Did I discover Coldplay? I suppose so – along with a tiny number of other music journalists at this time. Whatever the history, I am responsible for orchestrating their first interview feature in print.
As well as CDs and interviews, I also started reviewing gigs at that time. I wrote lovingly crafted word paintings of what it meant to actually be there, in a hot sticky crowd and why the reader should have been there too! These days writing more about dance, opera and theatre, I still strive to make the moment real for my readers. This same drive powers my commercial copywriting and technical writing today, as I want readers to feel inspired and enabled by what they read so they can take the next steps, make a purchase, with understanding and enthusiasm.
Sharing the moment, sharing the love and the passion; that is why I write.