About Alanthology

May 1st, 2022

This website is a vastly overdue and ongoing attempt at smashing together all the disparate threads of my professional and semi-professional life. And what a funny life it is to be a writer, especially when your work falls into, and between, multiple boxes.

I was fearsomely good at maths and science as a kid. But what I really wanted to be was someone who travelled, saw the world, listened to its stories, and wrote about them. I just didn't have the confidence to do it. More to the point, I was actively discouraged. I was told I wasn't creative enough to be a writer, to be an artist, to be anything much more than a number cruncher. I didn't have enough imagination, someone close to me said. And for the longest, weirdest time, I believed them.

I stuck to what I knew I was good at. I sailed through high school and college off the back of all STEM subjects. I got an undergraduate degree in maths and statistics, then a scholarship from the Medical Research Council to complete a Master's degree in biometrics. Still clueless with how to get from where I was to where I wanted to be, I accepted a scholarship from the Wellcome Trust for Human Genetics in Oxford to pursue a PhD in mathematical genetics. And so I learned the hard way where the easy option leads.

It's been almost 20 years since I walked away from everything I'd worked for. And zero regrets. I moved to London, found a job as an editorial assistant, and started from scratch. I started my own magazine in 2005, my own company in 2006, and began to live a version of my childhood dream that I never knew existed. A sustainable, varied and creative career. I'm still graced now and then by the ghost of Not Good Enough, especially when writing about people far more talented than I am. But that only makes me strive to be better.

This website is my way of keeping track. /AP