My partner Nikki is partly to blame, for it was her who has pushed me to write down all my stories, my lectures, my history from over 45 years working as an editorial news photographer for the national press in the UK and turn them into an enjoyable illustrated read.
Writing an autobiographical book about ones life is like cleaning out the hard drive on a computer…and best done before my hard drive of a brain starts to fail and all that history, all those wonderful stories and self deprecating anecdotes disappear for ever.
The 75,000 plus words have taken over 5 years to write. It has been a full time job and even now I am finding more stories to add.
At the beginning I really had no idea where to start…a blank page, even on a computer screen, is quite frightening, and so, I started in the middle and worked back and forth as my life experiences revealed themselves to me, as if in a series of dreams. And yes, I did wake in the small hours on many occasions scrambling around in the dark looking for a note book to make a note to self to write up in the morning.
After a few months I got into the rhythm of writing for a few hours starting early each morning before stomping off for a fast walk to clear the head. I began to enjoy the process of establishing a specific period and writing up all I could remember. Sometimes in a humorous self deprecating way and sometimes deadly serious, but always I hope…interestingly.
Over the years I have always made a point of keeping all my note books and ephemera such as hotel brochures, maps and plane tickets from my world wide travels for various newspapers and magazines, a wonderful reserve of dates and places with which to give my grey matter a jolt every so often.
I have a collection of thousands of bromide prints and negatives and contact sheets (above) from which to work, these have been invaluable as I have noticed that the ‘picture of the day’ that was edited either by me whilst away on the story or back at base by a photo editor was NOT actually the best image. Very often pictures taken on the way to an event or story are far more interesting.
I intend to update this blog on a regular basis keeping you informed as to the latest position of the production my book, where we are at regarding proof reading, designing, picture editing and all the hundreds of things that you have no idea about…….