Monday, December 08, 2008

Onwards....and upwards?

So despite my best intentions, it has rolled round to Monday, and I'm only now blogging again. It's always the same - when I'm busy, I haven't got time to blog....but when I'm less busy and have the time, there are fewer interesting things to say!

Anyway, as I write this, I'm printing a report stating that the UK jobs market is heading downhill at breakneck speed. It's salutary stuff, but at the moment, in this tiny micro-business bubble, I'm definitely not feeling the full effect.

I'm busy - with magazine deadlines this week and next (plus a 4,000 word university essay on Stalin's foreign policy to fit in in those few free hours when the kids have gone to bed). I've a couple of projects that'll take me into the New Year, and one or two possibles that I hope will come through.

Some planned projects have completely disappeared off the radar, and others have been delayed...and delayed again. So the picture's not altogether rosy, but at least I'm still working and still billing.

Some of the work in the last fortnight has been frustrating - it's definitely harder to get people on the end of the phone (or in person) at the moment and those in work seem to prefer to keep their heads down and get the job done rather than speak to journalists. There have been comedy moments too - not least when I approached one director whose firm (actually he's a non-exec not a full-timer) had just won a business award.

In a short, ego-inflated email, he informed me what kind of journalist he liked; what I needed to do before he'd deign to speak to me, and how he, as an ex-national newspaper journalist did not want his time wasted. that's where I've been going wrong for the past 20 years. Anyway, I raised his arrogance with my pomposity, informing him I had no intention of wasting his time, my time or that of the paying client. I then looked at his own website which was cheesier than a Wensleydale salesman...and felt a little better. I perhaps put slightly more homework than usual behind the piece; surprised him with my knowledge and line of questioning, and ended up with a piece that drew praise from both him and the client.

Other pieces have been fun to research and for every two or three 'hard-to-gets' I've unearthed a gem of a contributor, willing to share their views and their time generously...sometimes too generously. On occasion I've ended up having a really good chat, but it's taken a while to get to the nub of the questioning. Perhaps I've got to be a bit tougher on interviewees.

Anyway, the report's now printing its final page. So onwards, and I hope, upwards

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