What on earth possessed me to use my Sunday to slap this together? And what’s going to possess me to keep going?
I’ve been a writer of one sort or another all my adult life.
I started out writing jazz and soul pieces at college, as the obvious answer to the question: “So do you want to get paid to listen to the music you love anyway?” Not the most challenging decision I’ve ever made.
Then I went on to being a reporter – first for the tech press, then running a small news agency for Commonwealth papers and magazines, and finally six years at BBC News as their only specialist in financial crime.
Even after I left the Beeb in 2007, I kept writing. It’s just that my audience changed.
And now, as a jobbing barrister, in this weird quasi-locked-down world, I feel the need to write again.
I don’t have a mission, as such. Except that our world as barristers is changing – it has to. Lots of us have struggled with remote working, with a paperless existence, with virtual hearings. All of which are now critical if we’re to survive and thrive, and if we’re to help our clients as they deserve to be helped. And anyone who thinks that once the immediate crisis is past (god send it’s soon…) that we’ll go back to the old ways is dreaming.
And dreaming, when you’re self-employed, is a short road to penury.
So initially, at least, I’m going to share how – in the short time since I became a proper grown-up barrister – I went pretty much completely paperless without even really noticing. I use Apple kit, so I’m afraid that where things are platform-specific, it’ll be Apple rather than Windows, Android or Chromebook. Sorry about that. But lots of things aren’t platform-specific. And I’ll try to be helpful anyway.
(I may stray off course from time to time. Don’t be surprised if music crops up. Or genre literature or TV. Or capoeira. All part of the tapestry.)
We can make this work. We can get through. And we can – even amid these uncertainties, fears and genuine sorrows – make some changes which might leave things better for whatever future is waiting for us.