Sunday, 20 June 2010

'Little Star' - Stina Nordenstam (1994)

“You must have wanted him to know.
You must have wanted the world to know.”

On the first day of my first job, I was savaged by a table of directors at ‘a big British energy company’ for a documentary script that wasn’t mine. It wasn’t the comfortable day of settling in to life in a Soho video production company that I had imagined. I should have taken it as a warning of things to come.

My new boss (the one who thought I looked like a penguin snatcher) had in fact written the script, but knew they weren’t happy so I had been sent in with instructions to pretend it was mine. It was a gruelling hour of four old men looking dismissively at me while I had to nod along in silent acceptance of every mistake I hadn’t made.

I arrived back at the office with my new pad full of notes and amends which I handed to my boss so he could crack on with a new draft. But it seemed that wasn’t the plan. This was now my project and was to be my first script. And I had two days to turn it around.

Sixteen years later, I’m actually grateful for having such an eventful introduction to life as a writer. It makes you pretty fearless. And my revised draft got the thumbs up, which was a big confidence boost. But at the time, the only bright point to the day was buying Stina Nordenstam’s new album ('And She Closed Her Eyes') at Selectadisc and hearing this exquisite song. I’d need many more songs like this to get through the next five years in that job.

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