I had received the email invite some weeks ago, skim-read the contents and thought I’d return to consider it once I knew what the weather would be like in the week before Christmas. I then forgot all about it and it was only when a reminder that popped up on the day that I scrabbled around, sorted out a ticket and planned my route into BBC New Broadcasting House. I wasn’t familiar with the name Nicole Taylor but reading her list of credits, including the award-winning BBC Drama Three Girls, I knew I had to be there.
As we waited in the Media Café, I wasn’t expecting to see any inner workings of the BBC but as I found a space to wait at, I stood at what looked like windows to the outside but I was amazed to see stretching below me, a maze of desks, screens and people busy at their work in the Newsroom. I was surprised at my visceral response to this- it was like accidentally walking into an operating theatre in the middle of open heart surgery.
The honest, down-to-earth answers (with a smattering of swear words) about being a writer were inspirational as were the anecdotes about changing career paths, the lasting trauma of being ‘sacked’ from a writing job and the practicalities of making a living. I particularly valued hearing about the time and research that was required for Three Girls, and the humanity of respectfully telling the story in an honest and un-sensationalised way.
I came away with fresh thoughts about my own writing and feeling great about meeting a successful and inspirational woman.