As a young adolescent on the South Shore of Montreal I can remember listening to the nightly broadcast of “As it Happens”, not so much for current events but for Harry Brown. He had a conversational style that could draw out an incredible amount of detail without seeming to be too confrontational.
There were others like Peter Gzowski of Morningside and Stuart McLean of The Vinyl Café. Each was unique leaving a lasting impression on me. Their broadcast demeanor was approachable and conversational, and I was drawn in to visit for a while.
My latest influence is House of Strombo on Apple TV. It has an edge and seemingly unrehearsed reality that is my downtown Toronto. I see George Stroumboulopoulus as the consummate journalistic storyteller, drawing me in as much as the guests to be part of the narrative.
I believe the truism that the more you work at something the better you get. For me, that is true for writing. I love the quick turn of phrase, or subtle entendre, but especially enjoy storytelling.
Everything I do as a professional is open to expression as a narrative. I stopped publishing for a while because I felt pressured to combine storytelling with actionable consequences.
Some stories just need to be told: not as a moral tale, not instructional, not consciousness raising. They’re just stories, sometimes humorous and sometimes touching, that speak to a humanity in all of us. That human dimension is important to me.
Years of experience and formal business education don’t protect me from being overwhelmed by the flood of information, fear and greed that saturates my daily work life. By forcing myself to write I must take a giant step back and try to put things into perspective. I am surprised by how much falls away as being insignificant.
I hope by separating my commentaries into life and work that I can find the craftsmanship in each.
-Dave February 2018