Materials writing conversations #11: ‘Friends’

This is a completely imaginary conversation. No characters in the convo are based on real people – I’m just bored and imagining conversations I might have…


Bob: Hey. Can I get some careers advice from you? I know you left the British Council a while back and moved into writing. I’m looking at doing that. You know, the old materials development stuff. Tell me how.


Me: Oh hi! Long time no speak! OMG how are you??! I hope you’re doing great. How’s it going over there in Madrid? I’ve seen some of your posts and it looks like you’re having a great time there. A new partner, I see! Great to know that things are going so well for you and that, true to form, when I view your political posts you are so bound up in your own ego that you still do a great job of belittling most people who dare to disagree.

I just noticed that we haven’t actually spoken since 2017! Crazy! Our last interaction was me sending you some links to academic research after you said you were stuck for evidence to back up some content in your INSET. How did that all go for you? Before that you asked me for a few lesson resources, a link to a webinar, questions people normally ask at interviews for a coordinator role, someone’s number, a book you could borrow, deadlines for a course we were on but you couldn’t remember… I forgot how much we used to chat!

I’m fine by the way. Just the two kids since we last spoke. Obviously, being a ‘grrr man beer football grr be a man!’ I don’t talk about things like, you know, male postpartum depression. Pfff, what’s that, anyway? I’m sure you’ve been super bound up in life, love and friendships and developing your career during these last few years, so I understand you not having any time to drop me the odd ‘how are things?’.

All that’s irrelevant. I mean, you need help in your career right now! I’m not sure how I can help, but if I have some kind of knowledge, advice, whatever that is gonna help you become the person you wanna be – great.

I’ll do an Orby – anything you want, need, anything at all, you got it. On one condition: you say ‘thanks’. That’s it. Just ‘thanks’. One word is fine. You don’t have to do the phatic convo stuff as a lead-in (you never do anyway), or take on my woes. Just say ‘thanks’.

Okay, maybe more. If I share a contact that leads to work, say ‘thanks very much’. Just two extra words. That’s it. If that work happens to be, I don’t know, a coursebook series at six levels that keeps you going for 18 months, maybe a ‘much appreciated’.

No, you know what, that’s asking too much. Just a thanks. But we need a cut off here. I’m going with three years. Ask me anything from now until 15th Oct 2025. If you manage to say ‘thanks’ at any point during that time then all good – I’m happy to keep helping in any way I can. Whatever you need.

Let me know mate!


Bob: Jeez. I only asked. Ok 👍


Me: ‘Thumbs up’ don’t count by the way.

Categories: General, materials writing

Tags: , , ,

4 replies


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