For a while, I wanted to interview people as a job. I read every interview in the Guardian Magazine and went to see Lynn Barber talk in the Brighton Festival. She wasn’t very helpful.
I had this idea that I could interview people about their jobs, to help me decide what I wanted to do when I was older. I was going to publish them in a zine, in pairs. The spring I was 16, I interviewed a florist.
I just walked into her shop and spoke to her for about 20 minutes. She was a bit annoyed about it, but I feel she was annoyed about most things in life so I wasn’t scared. The notes sat on my desk for a year til I typed them up. I remembered almost everything she said anyway so that was easy.
I published it in a different, new zine, alongside some spoof articles about politics and a long polemic piece I’d written. People asked me if I’d made up the florist too.
Since then I’ve been stuck for about a year at the same start of the process of making a new zine: thinking about it but not actually writing anything down. I want to interview a guy who paints lines on the road, and a policeman, and an architect. I keep walking past line-painters working at night but I don’t have my questions written down so I don’t go over and talk to them. I guess I’m a bit scared too.
I talk to people all the time normally, because I’m really genuinely interested in their lives. Every detail. I spoke to a guy the other day who put back books on the shelves in Senate House Library. One day I think I’ll get over it and write some questions for a line painter. Maybe next week.