Difficult Second

Hello everyone

Hope the summer is going well for you.

I remember an interview in Smash Hits in the early eighties when Depeche Mode were announcing the release of their second album (A Broken Frame) which they described as their ‘difficult second’ album. Many bands and artists have bemoaned the same situation before this and since – anyone remember Toploader’s second album? See the review for that here:



The concept of difficult second doesn’t just sit there in the world of music. It’s there in films as well. See a list of ten brilliant second movies below. My favourite film JAWS is in there – Spielberg’s follow up to Sugarland Express. A weight of expectation on his shoulders and a special-effect shark that wouldn’t perform for the camera.

I’m sitting in my kitchen contemplating this and my difficult second book The Oath. I’ve pressed pause on the writing of the book because I was finding it too darn stressful. Rather than enjoying the process, I’ve been looking over my shoulder and worrying about what people will think of it. You’d have thought I’d be okay with that, and, indeed, I am now. As I’ve stated in an earlier blog, my mojo is back, and having pressed pause on The Oath, I can concentrate on my teaching, training and work – all of which I’m loving. The book will be out in late 2015 and I apologise to those of you who were looking forward to it. My aim now is to make it worth the wait. I’ve already written 30,000 words and its full of genuine classroom practice, reflections, ideas and lists. And it’ll be fun. I’m grateful to @thatiangilbert and @crownhousepub for their patience. You can pre order the book here:


The other thing that’s encouraged me to slow down a little is the fact that my first book OOPS! Helping Children Learn Accidentally is going down really well and I’m grateful to readers who have got in touch with me on Twitter and Facebook to tell me so. I loved writing it and am thrilled with the reception it’s received. You can take a look at it here:http://tinyurl.com/kvu5zfj

So The Oath has become my own difficult second. It will get written and I’m excited about the prospect. I just want to ensure I nail it and am bang on.


 Ten Great Second Films (in no particular order):

1. Jaws

2. Near Dark

3. The Terminator

4. Midnight Express

5. Assault on Precinct 13

6. Boogie Nights

7. The Elephant Man

8. Raising Arizona

9. The Deer Hunter

10. Days of Heaven


Cheers. 🙂



5 thoughts on “Difficult Second

  1. There’s an episode of the Radio 4 programme “Chain Reaction” – where Graham Linehan is talking to Adam Buxton about creativity and ideas. One of them (can’t remember which) talks about filling their mind with the topic they’re writing about, doing all kinds of research and than going completely away from it for a while. They were saying that it’s at that moment that the ideas come. When they’re not focusing on it and not stressed by it. It’s an interesting listen.

    You may be finding it a “difficult second album”, but for the rest of your reading public, we’ve got no doubts – it’ll be inspiring and motivational and… buzzing.

  2. Pingback: Education Panorama (September ’14) by @TeacherToolkit | @TeacherToolkit

  3. Pingback: BAD HAT HARRY and IMAGINEERING: Making the Curriculum Your Own | Hywel Roberts Create Learn Inspire

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s