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The Confidence Suit

I was asked a flattering question at an inspiration and aspiration event I did for school students last week - 

Standing in front of a hundred people, for a demanding four hour session, how can you be so confident? 

I might have banked some glory, and said, "it just comes naturally...", or "it's down to experience...", or "it's all in the planning..."

Instead, I was honest and told my young questioner - 

It's the confidence suit.

I was reminded of the question this week, when at a magnificent art exhibition in Cambridge (the city does lots of this cultural stuff, and despite looking like a beer swilling buffoon I do love it) - 

CCCConfidence suit.JPG

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Staying Young

I may have discovered the secret of eternal youth. 

(Quite a claim I know, but I'm in that kind of mood.)

I've had an amazing week. Firstly, talking to some 15/16 year olds at Pembroke College, Cambridge University, about raising aspirations. 


These are some of the students, and what a wonderful group, you can see it in the picture. So polite, smart, creative and full of energy, a real pleasure to work with. 

Next came a session on the secrets of success with eight schools from across Devon, Dorset and Somerset, which was an incredibly uplifting day. 

I tried a new exercise, giving groups of five a minute to address the United Nations about an issue of great importance to them.

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Liberty, Heroes, and a Trio of Thoughts

I got to meet my hero this week. 

I happened to be at BBC HQ in London, with the radio comedy unit (it's an ambition of mine to write for them, if I can work out how to be funny) and there he was outside, keeping an eye on the visitors. 


Ok, I know he was beyond a proper meeting, but even some time with your late hero can make you reflect on why they mean so much to you. 

The quotation was well chosen, I think, for the entrance to an organisation which lives by free speech. 

And as I stood there, thinking, it occured to me that it was Remembrance Weekend. 

When we honour those countless millions of men and women who died for our freedom today. 

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The Hardest Question

Writers sometimes get asked what I often think of as the hardest question - 

Why do you write? 

It's tough because writing means so much to us we can struggle to explain. 

However! A few thoughts - 

Writing has taught me more about myself, and the world, than anything else I've ever done in life. 

It forces you to think deeply about characters - people - what makes them tick, why they are what they are, and why they do the things they do.

Writing is also an invitation to explore the world.

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