I recently met with a columnist who’d generously agreed to let me pick her brain. I was nervous and excited and did more nattering on about what I was up to, than I did effective mining of her resources. She did say that her own tips and particular journey might not be that helpful to me. She’d taken a traditional route – journalism, internships at magazines, national newspapers. My route - decades as a bureaucrat followed by the canon ball jump into writerly waters, was another thing altogether.