I think success is about having achieved everything you'd hoped to achieve. My career has progressed fairly slowly over the past 12 years, from radio reporter to journalist to author. Tiffany Trott started life as a column about the singles dating scene. It was well received and I was approached to turn it into a novel, and since then my career has snowballed. I had six months to write it and I was worried that I wouldn't be able to finish it, especially when they started advertising it before the novel was done. But I've since discovered that I work best when I'm under a huge amount of pressure.
I think it is important to be professional about your work, you must meet deadlines. Having started out as a broadcaster at the World Service I know how terrible it is when people let you down.
My radio training has been an essential factor in my success as a writer. I did an English degree at Cambridge and I knew I could write, but writing for radio is the best way to learn. You have to make your prose sparkle and cut out the flabby bits, otherwise people just switch off. I try to write for the ear and include rhythm and drive. I write for other people, although I enjoy doing it myself, and I really appreciate it when I get positive feedback.
I'd say I have a considerable amount of internal drive, I'm never happily idle. When I'm working on a piece I start thinking about the next thing I'm going to do. You have to in order to make a living as a freelance journalist. I can sometimes over-commit myself, but I always deliver the goods, even if I have to get up at six in the morning to do it.
I am ambitious but not in a hard-nosed sort of way. I work extremely hard and I like things to be perfect. I have put in long hours and made sacrifices on the social side, but I've done it gladly. I'm very lucky in that I love what I do.
Being successful is all about doing the work you want to do to the very best of your ability. When I see people reading my book on the Tube and laughing - as I hoped they would - it makes me feel so happy. Then I really know that I've been successful.Reuse content