I tapped away at keyboards in grey newspaper offices for several years, often unable to tell if it was day or night, winter or summer while claiming, or hoping, to impart something useful to an unknown reader.
I churned out thousands of words about supposed happenings in the world around me, while caged inside large corporate edifices whose double glazing, air-conditioning and security systems ensured a comfortable separation from the noise and smell of the city outside.
Stories of sex, scandal and gossip poured onto my computer screen to meet the demands and deadlines of editors desperate to hit sales figures.
But very little of what I wrote in those seven years was of any worth. Few stories that appeared in the pages of those venerable Fleet Street institutions bearing my name would have enriched any readers. Some might have drawn a chuckle or a gasp, others might have provided some mild titillation or excuse for outrage for red-faced golfers and their bored housewives but none would leave the world a better place then I had found it.
I was a puppet to an industry that had sacrificed integrity for profit margins. The truth was never broken but adapted and moulded to sell.
It made me miserable.
So I did the unthinkable and ran away.