Monday, November 24, 2008

Alistair Cooke on Doing Your Best When You Don’t Feel Like It

There were many times when Alistair Cooke did not feel like writing one of his almost 3,000 Letters from America over his marathon 58 years of reporting on life in the USA.

Like in the week when JFK was assassinated or after Bobby Kennedy was shot and Cooke was particularly shattered because he was close to the area when it happened.

Several times Alistair Cooke would say in his BBC broadcast that he was speaking to them in a state of shock.

Cooke believed he was a professional and according to him “a professional is someone who can do his best work when he doesn’t feel like it!”

Source: Alistair Cooke, Reporting America: The Life of the Nation 1946-2004 (London: Allen Lane, Penguin, 2008).

This book is reviewed at Reviewing Books and Movies.

More from Cooke:
I am a Reporter not a Prophet says Alistair Cooke, Stories for Speakers.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: Alistair Cooke.