I make no apologies for occasionally using this blog to air private frustrations, but I wasn’t anticipating the firestorm that I somehow set off yesterday in complaining publicly about how besieged I sometimes feel at the constant flurry of requests on my time and attention.
All of which left me feeling all the more besieged. So it was a neat own goal, I suppose you could say. But it also opened a window for me into the very real sense of frustration that exists on the other side of the critical fence to the one I’m on, where publicists and producers are trying to get coverage for their shows, large and small. We’re in this game together, and each side needs the other.
And I realise that in returning to the subject today I run the risk of exposing myself yet again to that kind of criticisms that were made against me yesterday. But I also think that critics can and should be accountable, and it is a constructive example, too, of how we can all be called to account. (I replied on the blog itself to some of the points made yesterday).
Of course, few critics offer a public whipping post as I do for these concerns, and others will routinely make the decisions I was talking about yesterday about what to see or not to see without explanation or apology.
It could be said that I actively invited the speculations and further demands by actually engaging in them. I’ve often thought it more polite to try give a reason for why I can’t cover something I’m being asked to see, whether its as simple as a timetabling clash (an oft-repeated problem), a better offer elsewhere, or simply my own inclinations.
But the world doesn’t need to hear them. Or at least the recipients don’t. They only want to hear that you’re coming – not why not. That rubs salt into their wounds.
I promise I won’t be deterred from my mission to cover as much as I can. But I won’t be so public about when I can’t always meet the requests that are made. (I also heard a sage bit of advice recently: don’t read the bottom half of the internet.)