Whilst I’ve been beavering away gathering information for my First Edinburgh Musical Festival talk, the realisation that my Exchange Talk will now take place before the Edinburgh one prompted me to make a start on writing the Exchange Talk first.
On Tuesday evening this week, I decided to call it “Common Threads”. I pulled a few books off my shelves, arranged them tastefully if inartistically on the floor, took a batch of photos to illustrate this theme, and wrote a brief blurb about the talk itself.
On Wednesday evening, I wrote it. All of it. (Well, not word-for-word, because I find it much easier to be natural if I don’t read from a script, but I wrote about four pages of outline and decided that I quite liked it.)
Today, my colleagues set to work planning publicity for it. There was just one problem. Don’t laugh. I needed a subtitle. Could I come up with one? No. I went for coffee, hoping that the creative juices would flow along with the caffeine. Still nothing. I can write readily, fluently, at the drop of a hat, but devising a subtitle that would enhance the title without pre-empting the blurb, proved harder than you’d imagine.
Finally, just before lunchtime, a subtitle popped into my head, and I hastily emailed it away. Job done. Now I can get back to Edinburgh in 1815, and all will be well!