What inspires me to create? Getting outta bed and hearing an amazing song that throws my jaw to the ground and makes my skin go all gooseflesh. Reading a review of live music, comedy or theatre, marveling at the way a writer can take us to a moment in their life and bring it out in technicolour richness. Doing things that make my brain and heart lock into step – that’s always nice.

I’ve noticed especially when I’m doing my Meredith and Golden Plains music festival reviews that I can often feel elevated, like I’m levitating, when I really get into my flow state (that’s also partly brain cells repairing themselves and synapses high-fiving each other for the first time in a week).

The best thing about creating is sticking to your guns and creating the way you wanna create. It does something amazing to your soul and it reminds me that youth is not an age: it’s a state of mind. I feel 23 even though I’m 41, and that’s to do with creating something new on the reg (and also playing ferocious competitive sport).

Also, using italics at just the right time makes me extraordinarily happy. Oh, and this long em-dash here — I love that guy.

It’s tough trying to remember whether I’ve used a killer line before. Full disclosure, I’ve reviewed at least three rock albums in the last 20 years using the same line hidden in the copy: “With great riffs comes great reward” (#busted). You need to have the noggin firing on all cylinders. I like the mantra “read, write, repeat” – it’s all about muscle memory.

The Copyright Agency has been paying me at least twice a year for nearly a decade and it always comes when rego is due or I’ve just inadvertently broken the toilet after a large night out (not true, but “comedy is not an honest sport”, as Loyiso Gola says). Copyright is hugely important. It means my work has value beyond being next week’s chip wrapper (shout out to 1983) or a long-forgotten browser tab.


Beck’s Pressure Zone. Everything in its right place: the drums welp up and go for it, the beatboxing is tactile, the spluttery bleeps make my face tingle and Beck is having a very good time singing proper pro prose: “The countryside is overgrown/There’s a lighthouse in her soul/Wrestling with butcher girls/She don’t ever change her clothes/Masterpieces liquidate in fertile tears”.