It was October, but the Spanish sea was warm enough to swim in. So that’s what I was doing until my husband came running down the beach, waving his arms to tell me to get out of the water. There was a big problem with our train home the next day: French railway staff were going on strike, which meant the sleeper between Barcelona and Paris wasn’t running.
I sometimes do copywriting work for clients who struggle to define exactly what they want. My tactic, which often surprises people, is to come up with what I call “a bad first draft”. It’s easier to look at what I’ve come up with and tell me why it’s wrong than agonise over trying to create a brief for the copy you want.
It started with a twinge. In 2006 I was a new freelancer who jumped at every job offered me. Sometimes that meant working 50 hours a week, but I’d happily do it because I knew that next week, there might be no work at all. I couldn’t believe I was getting paid to write; the very idea of turning work down seemed ridiculous.
“Sometimes I’m afraid my son will be killed for something as insignificant as a snack.” That’s what one woman told researchers when they asked her what it means to be poor. Sabina Alkire, director of the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) shared stories like this when she spoke at Oxford Town Hall last night.