Blagging your way to the Royal Suite.

I stayed in a 5* hotel last night and got upgraded to a superior room as a bonus. Ok it was a last minute.com “secret hotel” thingy deal for relatively sensible money. But it was still a five star hotel in the heart of London and actually it was never a secret because I’d worked out which it was from some crude googling. 5 star overlooking St Paul’s Cathedral narrows the field a little. Having complained that the Bluetooth signal on my bedroom “multimedia hub” was weaker than Chris Huhne’s forthcoming defence, I was upgraded to a superior room. This morning having hacked the lift and finding myself on the executive roof garden (from where the picture is take), I kicked myself for not finding three or four consecutive things to complain about last night as I could have woken up in the Royal Suite, in a bed the size of the Greek debt but without the downside of interference from Germans.

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Oh yes. I’m writing comedy

So I’m getting stuck into comedy writing and really enjoying it. Ok so I’ve written drama a bit – and currently have a one-act play appearing at festivals – but hey I like a challenge. They all warned me; “Comedy is really difficult to write” they said “You’ll think it’s easy – but it’s not”.

And they are right of course, but that’s the attraction. So far, a radio audience comedy to BBC Writers Room – still waiting to hear, and I just made the deadline for the BBC Laugh Track TV sitcom competition with a comedy about Computer Hackers.

But actually it’s sending in material for Newsjack that is giving me most pleasure at the moment. Perhaps it’s the competitive element that drives me – there’s lots of writers I’m competing with to get air time. But really I think it’s the discipline of writing comedy sketches I enjoy. Study news stories, find an unusual angle. And then form the dialogue which is tight, rhythmic and clever – funny even. I write a bit in my day job and this has been the best development training I could imagine – make every word punch above its weight. How does this come across to the reader/listener? Remove the fat – get to the point with impact. I’ve heard other people say, “get in – make your point – get out”. Real writing and comms skills that serve you well whenever.

So, it’s episode 5 this week of a run of six. And so far my material has been recorded (episode 3) but sadly didn’t survive the edit. Two more attempts.

I’m going to feel a bit bereft after next week. My current one-act play is set on death row in Florida – not much of a laugh but I did mange to squeeze in two jokes which the audience seem to enjoy (they are appropriate I hasten to add). I feel more comedy calling me.

Strewth I’ve got a blog!

What did I do that for?

Well actually because I realised that a social media profile needs a strategy – you can’t just throw a few tweets about and hope for the best. Now it might be my over excessive controlling manner and actually you can do exactly that. But I’ve realised that a combination of forum posting and tweeting also requires somewhere to post longer thoughts and develop your voice – hence this blog.

And the other thing you realise is – and maybe it’s just me but I doubt it – when I create a tweet (only 140 chars) I spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about whether it meets the needs of my followers – people I’ve not asked to take an interest but whom nonetheless have put themselves out to do so. They deserve a reasonable amount of quality. Or they’ll unfollow me or defollow me whatever the correct term is, and that would make me feel I’ve failed. But blogs are different. I’ve not asked you to come here. I’ve got no idea who the heck you are. But welcome. Thanks for coming by. I hope you’ll stay a bit. Come back even. Perhaps leave a nice message. But if you don’t, neither of us have to worry. There was no commitment. We haven’t got that awkward morning after moment. Just grab your clothes and head off before breakfast. We can pretend it didn’t happen. And that’s why I’ve decided I like blogging. I hope that makes sense. And if it doesn’t I don’t really care because I don’t feel responsible for you being here. See you soon I hope 🙂