Thank you for reading
So that’s it, folks. After 40,000 words over 135 weeks, I’ve finally run out of things to say.
Actually, that’s not true. Journalists never run out of things to say – that would be professional suicide – but there have been a few changes here at the Times and Sunday Times, with the result that from next month I will be looking after the food coverage on both titles. I’m going to be busy, busy, busy, so something has had to give.
Anyway, thanks for the company these past few years. I hope you’ve gleaned some useful insights into the way journalists work. I know I’ve learnt a lot from you, and I’ve got renewed respect for what you do. I can see just how hard you work, especially now that Covid and the time pressure on journalists has removed many of the upsides of your job.
How fondly I remember the days of long boozy lunches and leisurely days out of the office on client visits when relationships could be forged. Here’s hoping they can return soon.
Whenever a needy writer asks me which bit of their feature I liked the best, I always reply, sometimes only half-jokingly, “the end”. You can apply that punchline to me if you want, but from those 40,000 words of advice, if you were to remember just four, I hope they’d be:
“Think like a journalist”. That in turn means thinking like a reader, and it’s the key to every successful pitch.
Try to find a new angle or nugget of interest in what you are promoting. It’s that spark of creativity that really marks you out from the crowd.
And finally, to those who still email me “Hey there! Happy Hump Day! Are you working on anything at the moment?”, I’m sorry for not replying sooner. Yes I am.
All best, Tony
What Tony Thinks…
“A novel release about our love of takeaways, measuring how they boost our mood. Not surprised fish and chips came last. They are rainy staycation fodder as you dream of the cancelled fortnight in Tuscany.”