There’s something invigorating about being able to put into words what someone else is thinking.
I suppose it’s like an artist who can express a feeling, or emotion with brush strokes.
Or a musician who can make you cry with a their correctly chosen chords.
As a writer I have to first understand a topic before I can make someone else get it. While this seems simple, try writing about something you hate, have no idea about or have never played, for example, money, business or sport.
One of the most exciting but nerve wracking experiences as a rookie journo was meeting and interviewing the late Steve Fossett. He was attempting to set the world altitude record in a glider in Omarama, in New Zealand’s Southern Alps.
He failed and I got a great photo of him glaring at me just as he took off his space helmet.
The image is not unlike this one below – however in my copy I can see myself reflected in his helmet visor. I wish I had it on file but I’ll fish out my hard copy one day.
Anyway, interviewing him was challenging, daunting and I was nervous but excited. He was such a legend and I feel privileged to have spoken to him about his many adventures before his untimely demise.
And that’s how I feel when I speak to most of my contacts, clients etc – privileged they have allowed me into their heart and mind.
From the mum who has looked after her extremely disabled son for 64 years, to the wife of a 74-year-old pilot that has been missing for 3 days, I’ve learned a lot.
I’ll never forget what the pilot’s elderly wife said to me, with a tear in her eye: ”I hope he’s somewhere sitting on our picnic blanket with his warm thermos drinking a nice cup of tea”.
Of course he and his co-pilot had died on impact when they crashed – but when I wrote my article before they were found, I did my best to give her some hope – what else did she have.