5 inspiring things: Lana Beckwith

5 inspiring things: Lana Beckwith

Lana Beckwith, Senior Content Development Manager at HarperCollins, shares five things inspiring her to think and work differently right now.


Hardware: The coffee machine. This may seem flippant, but it’s actually deadly serious. For a while, it pained me to admit how dependent I was on my daily caffeine intake to think and function at an optimum level, but I’ve accepted it and am eternally grateful to HC for facilitating said addiction with a machine that is fast becoming one of my favourite colleagues.

Software: Duolingo is a brilliant app that allows you to learn languages in a simple but effective way, anywhere you like. It’s encouraged me to put my (often soul-destroying) commute to good use, and although my attempt at learning six languages at the same time didn’t work quite as well as I’d hoped, my Italian is coming along nicely. Meraviglioso.

Idea: There is a quote from Aristotle (I know, I’m very cultured) that I like: “Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.” It’s not possible to love every single task you have to complete – although I like the odd spreadsheet as much as the next person – but I think it’s important to know why you do what you do, and to care about it. Because it shows.   

Book: Adventures in the Screen Trade by William Goldman. Cinema is one of my oldest and truest loves, and this book is a treasure trove of delights for any devotee of the silver screen. But it’s also a heartfelt and insightful exploration of why storytelling matters, written by a master of his craft. I’ve read this book several times and it’s a great reminder that although one of the joys of working in these creative industries is the discovery of the new, one thing always holds true: story is king.

Person: John Oliver is one of my favourite people working in the media right now. I’ve been a fan of his journalism (and comedy) for some time, but this year in particular his show, Last Week Tonight, has been a beacon of sense and clarity in a frenzied news climate. Oliver shows that it’s possible to be informative, professional and fair while still being passionate, creative and standing up for what you think is right. I find that incredibly inspiring.