Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Best job in the world by Ann Evans


Me doing research on army sniffer dogs.
While on a school visit recently when I’d been telling the class about the writing activities I get up to, one young lad asked me, "Don't you ever get bored with writing?"

After a moment’s thought I answered him truthfully, that no, I don’t get bored. Tired yes and there have been times when I’ve fallen asleep at my keyboard and woken to find my head lolling attractively(!) on my chest and a load of zzzzzzzzs on my screen. At times like that I’ve thanked my lucky stars that my fingers hadn’t rested on the delete button as I nodded off. But bored – not a chance.

I went on to tell the boy who’d asked the question, that if I find that I’m writing something boring, then I need to stop and make changes, because if its boring for me to write it, the reader is certainly going to be bored reading it. However, his question made me realise just how fortunate I am to be doing a job that I love and which I think of as a pleasure rather than a chore or a way of earning  a living.

Every now and then I’ve heard people in different professions say theirs is ‘the best job in the world’ and most of the time, I can’t help feeling much the same, especially when you get an acceptance, or a good review or a successful school visit when you realise that something you’ve said has struck home with the children.

Research in the Trossachs - that's me being rescued.
What keeps boredom at bay for me is by having lots of varied writing projects on the go all the time – plus things at different stages. I think working as a feature writer at my local newspaper got me in the habit of jumping from one writing task to another and having lots of plates spinning, so to speak. So for me, the thing is to have lots of writing-related things on the go, so when you’re not in the mood to do one you can always switch to something else. And it’s all to do with writing – so no guilt!

At this moment in time, I’m working on a new series for 5-7 year olds, an adult thriller, a non-fiction ‘how to’ book, copy-typing an OOP book into ebook format, a TV sit com having just finished a TV drama (not commissioned I hasten to add, but if you don’t try…); and a particularly favourite writing activity - as you'll guess from the photos - some magazine articles.

People also say that writing can be a lonely business, which is why it’s always great if you have a writing buddy that you can share a joint venture with

How can you write about champagne if you haven't sampled a few?
For the last few years, my pal Maxine and I have been writing a TV drama. We meet once a week or once a fortnight, have a glass of wine (and sometimes a takeaway) and work on our play. It’s not supposed to be a comedy but we certainly have lots of laughs. We’ve actually just finished the drama and have now made a start on a sit com – more wine and legitimate laughs this time.

For me, I like my writing to take me away from the computer at times, and happily writing non-fiction for magazines is just the ticket.

Discovering Switzerland's
national dog.
Amongst the best perks I’ve enjoyed when researching for an article have been trips to Champagne, Lille and Bordeaux, sampling the champagne, food and wines of the regions; Switzerland for its gastronomy, Saint Bernard dogs and mountain rescue; Scotland for more search and rescue; Northern Ireland and a flight in an army helicopter; and pounding the waves down the Thames Estuary on a police launch for background information on their marine dogs. 

And then there’s the people you sometimes get lucky enough to interview…

Interviewing Norman Wisdom
Writing – did someone say it's boring? Best job in the world!

Please visit my website: www.annevansbooks.co.uk







7 comments:

Dan Holloway said...

Wow! Particularly envious of the Bordeaux tastings. We went to Bordeaux for our honeymoon and I have several shots of one or other of us standing surreptitiously at the gates of Yquem or outside the derelict old shed of Petrus, but that's as close as we got to the hallowed cellars!

Lynne Garner said...

Fab post with some great photos and memories and yes writing can be the best job in the world - just don't let everyone know!

Ann Evans said...

Thanks for your comments Dan and Lynne. Great memories from these pics. Interviewing Norman Wisdom was a dream come true. During our chat he suddenly burst into song, and sang 'Don't laugh at me 'cos I'm a fool' to me!
And he did his famous 'stumble' as we walked through the hotel for our interview. Lovely man.

madwippitt said...

cor you interviewed Norman Wisdom!

Ann Evans said...

I did and he was just amazing.
I feel so privileged to have met him.

Karen King said...

Lovely pics, Ann. I remember seeing a double spread article of yours about buses. Did you have to drive one for the research?? xx

Ann Evans said...

No, I didn't Karen. Probably just as well!