Once upon a time, there was a young woman who wanted to be a writer, but wasn’t sure how to start. So she asked a published writer for his advice.
How did your career unfurl, she quizzed him – and is that typical?
The writer had thought a lot about writing, over many years, but this particular question baffled him.
How to describe the course of his career – or anybody’s, for that matter?
How to explain the turns you took?
How to say whether they were the disasters and triumphs you took them for at the time?
How did one thing lead to another?
Looking for answers, he remembered the people who had helped him when he was starting out. (They hadn’t always looked like helpers. Sometimes they seemed to be obstacles – pains in the neck. But he learned something from them anyway.)
He remembered the first person he interviewed. It was someone he knew a little already – which had given him the courage to request a conversation.
Mind you, he had no idea who would publish his interview – not until he did it, and learned that his subject was Jewish. That’s how he got the idea to offer his interview to the Jewish Chronicle, and got his first paid interview published.