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writer...performer...sometime pop-up cinema host.

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Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Writing a letter

I have recently been studying a copy-writing course; it runs for one week and by the end of the week I have been promised on the blurb to have improved writing skills.

Today I studied the art of writing a letter, as well as when to write on paper or when to use an email. Emails are, by their very nature, personal and lighter; good for business when you would like an immediate response but not best when approaching someone that you don't know. A letter, on the other hand, gives your message more power as well as giving the recipient more respect. It is always best to write a letter when you want to praise or thank someone, an email would get lost among all the spam and the praise would be easily forgotten. It is also the best option to write a letter of complaint, having said that, it is just as easy to shred a letter as it is to delete an email.

However, this got me thinking: this year (in wo months no less) I turn the somewhat daunting age of forty (40!!). For a few years now I have promised myself that on having reached this magical figure of adulthood I will write a letter to five people who I feel have influenced me from the world of politics, music and art. Some of the people are easy to name: Steven Spielberg; Prince, I think Tony Blair as he got me interested in politics for the first time when he was a young MP. As you can probably gather, this is not a highbrow project! Prince has been a mainstay of mine since 1987's Lovesexy album and Spielberg has enchanted me since Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1981. In the years that followed, I had all of Prince's albums on cassette and all of Spielberg's films on VHS.

Tony Blair comes from a different era to them: he arrived from an interview with FHM when Mr Blair was not even thinking of being party leader (John Smith was in charge before his unfortunate death). I liked his focus and his drive and the fact that he gave politicians at the time a youthfulness that was lacking in the government of John Major, who to a slightly disinterested leftie were all as grey as their Spitting Image puppets indicated.

I have so far written a letter to Mr Spielberg, though it hasn't been sent as I am not forty, yet. It all feels a bit gushing and probably is a little inappropriate and I am not expecting any kind of response, but you never know do you?

As for the other two people, here I am at a indecisive moment. Most of the artists I like have been dead for quite a few years; I could choose a writer but really my  influence came from Roald Dahl, who, of course, is deceased as well. I have been thinking about writing to Robert Harris, as I find all of his books a really good read (The Fear Index is awesome); I could write to Tom Baker, or Peter Davison: my Doctor's.

I am a little stuck and could do with some input from you, my reader. Actors are good; writers are good; teachers are good; philosophers are good; footballers are out (although John Barnes was my hero in the Eighties); television hosts are out, I've already met Bob Monkhouse, plus he's dead.

Ok, in writing this I have come up with a list. Here goes:
John Barnes
Noel Edmonds
Tom Baker
Robert Harris
Vic Reeves
Des Lynam
Carol Vorderman

Ok, not sure of Carol Vorderman is an influence on the way that I think.

Please post your views and any suggestions of people from the Eighties, early Nineties, would be wonderful.

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