More Luck than Judgment
by David W Lewis
LifeBook Memoirs editor Ania Kalinowska shares her experience of working on one of her favourite projects.
The front cover of More Luck than Judgment
The title may suggest that David’s LifeBook is a tale of pure luck, but I would argue that it takes some serious skill to turn that luck into a meaningful legacy – and David has created just that, for at the heart of this Welshman’s story is his dedication to Young Voices, a choir organisation he set up in the 1990s.
Young Voices is an organisation which runs the largest children’s choir concerts in the world (and has received Guinness World Records to prove it!). With over 150,000 children participating in concerts annually, Young Voices works with schools and some of the world’s biggest venues and names to provide a truly magical musical experience to kids of all backgrounds and musical abilities. The message is one of inclusion: everyone is welcome.
David’s passion for Young Voices really comes across in his story, and his LifeBook includes letters from children and teachers describing their appreciation for the organisation; there is no doubt that it has made a difference to thousands of children’s lives, and this, above all else, is what David is most proud of. His is a far-reaching and ongoing legacy, and it was an honour for our LifeBook team to help David convey it in this unique autobiography.
David, who had tried to write his book himself before approaching LifeBook, was very committed to his project and told his tales with gusto – he had an enthusiasm that was guided expertly by his interviewer and captured perfectly by his ghostwriter. David was also receptive to ideas of structuring and editing, and all the way through he was appreciative of his ghostwriter’s efforts to weave his array of entertaining stories into a cohesive narrative.
While David shares the details of the birth of Young Voices, his life story begins, of course, much earlier, and I was treated to the many twists and turns that got him to the Young Voices starting point, as well as the more recent anecdotes beyond it. Whether it’s David’s professional cricketing career in South Africa or his time working in a Welsh law firm and subsequent business ventures, his story is an intriguing read from start to finish. While it is true that David had his fair share of good fortune and lucky escapes, there were also times when his luck ran out, and, clearly, determination, imagination and hard work played a huge part in his overall success.
I, for one, consider myself lucky to have been part of the team making David’s very special LifeBook a reality!