Daughter. Lions.

Lions. Daughter.

I spent the morning at the zoo today hanging around in sub-zero wind while my daughter scored herself some work experience at said zoo working with the Big Cats. I probably make it sound a bit more exciting than it will actually be but it sure as hell beats sitting around in an office doing a whole bunch of pointless stuff that nobody else wants to do and then wandering over to a shop to buy a bag of crisps for lunch.

She is very pleased. I am very pleased. We are both still trying to figure out what we really think of zoos - I’ve had a lot longer than she has to work at that and still can’t decide - but she wants to spend her life doing conservation-type stuff so we’ll roll with the positivity because it puts things in the right column for doing the right kind of things when the right time comes.

She is eighteen in a few weeks. Not sure my opinion will count for a whole lot one day soon but you never know… I might get to be one of ‘those’ Dads that retains the X-Factor long after it should have run out.


My buddy JJ mailed me a link to a story about writing yesterday… it goes like this:

“INJECT is a free digital tool that can help stimulate journalists’ creativity by providing them with a variety of perspectives on a specified topic. Journalists can use it as an idea generator, a suggestion machine, or an inspiration tool that can help them find innovative ways to tell their story.”

It goes on to say:

“Journalists, today, have less time, and fewer resources, to create ideas and write stories. What INJECT will do is to make journalists as creative as they are at the moment, but more quickly and efficiently. The INJECT tools will do this by implementing strategies that will enable them to undertake some of the work of experienced journalists more quickly, to permit and support journalists to spend more time on creative thinking and story development.”

Neil Maiden, INJECT’s Project Leaderand Professor of Digital Creativity at Cass Business School, London”

I do NOT class myself as a journalist even though I edit a huge international magazine. I do write - and I write a lot - so I feel I’m at least reasonably qualified to say this man is talking with his mouth full.

Journalists today have way more time than they ever did. They can write on the move, ship stories in at the click of a button, take a photograph to go with it if needs be… text their buddies if they’re in a hole, fly relatively cheaply around the world… tech is their best freaking friend on so many fronts so I don’t know about that ‘fewer resources’ bit either. The problem facing journalists is not creativity but actually getting paid to do good work in an environment that’s shrinking financially but growing digitally (and for free) on a daily basis.

As always, if you have the penchant to write and feel like you don’t have enough time or resources, step away from the bullshit drain of social media, turn off the TV and the other four devices you have at your disposal, grab a stub of a pencil, the back of an envelope and get to fucking work. Write something meaningful. The world is on its knees for quality journalism.

You do not need an app with a pop-up bar to give you ideas - that makes you a computer operator. What you need to do is get to work. The only way you can be a writer is to write. To be a journalist… journal.

Using this app will not help make you a better journalist.

And it sure as hell won’t make you into a lion.