Tag Archives: how-to

The One Key to Making it as a Freelancer Writer

new header: Painterly LA Skyline

cropped-la-skyline.jpg

I took this picture at my friend’s house in LA. She is living at the top of a Hollywood Hill. Yep, it’s the same hill I fell off. Every rose has its thorn and whatnot

Technical Photo Info: I think this photo looks like a painting of a place or a studio backdrop for a movie, which I guess is fitting for Hollywood. But, it’s real. And I just used my crappy small point-and-shoot. But I did put it on the night photography mode and rested it on a steady surface to accomodate the long exposure.

On Meeting Your Heros

I was a blabbering idiot when I met my hero Neil Gaiman

I was a blabbering idiot when I met my hero Neil Gaiman

One of the best parts about being a journalist is meeting your heros. Meeting famous people is pretty cool too, but that falls more into the novelty category. It’s the equivalent of making it into the Guinness Book of World Records, but for something you don’t care about.

However, the opportunity to meet one of those unattainable people you’ve always admired from a distance, now that’s something special. Unfortunately, the opportunity is perilous considering that you as a journalist are required to produce something readable from the encounter.

I’ve separated hero-meeting into two categories: Underwhelming and Overwhelming.

Underwhelming: Sometimes meeting a hero in real life is the most disappointing and deflating thing in the world. I hate it when this happens. For me, it’s only happened once, but I won’t say for who.

Overwhelming: Or sometimes the hero is everything you imagined them to be and more. This is overwhelming. And a starstruck journalist is the most ineffective and unprofessional thing in existance.

So pick your poison. And for all you non-journalists, remember that the most rewarding way to worship a hero is from a distance. Nobody has buggers from far away.

How to write FAST

My plan was to drive out to California this morning, but I didn’t finish writing my latest article until 5pm. This delay ruined my plans. And the stress gave me a sore throat. And I’m not even sure if the article turned out. So I’ll have to wait and see and start packing cause I’m going to california tomorrow morning. There I will audition for a game show. Maybe the winnings will fund my freelance writing career. I don’t know. I don’t know. Just tired now. Spent. From. Writing.

But my situation begs the question: How does one write fast enough to prevent this hullabaloo?

writing process: How to Interview a Rockstar

Yesterday, I interviewed a rockstar. Since I can’t scoop my own article, his name must remain anonymous. Suffise it to say, his is quite famous and has been so since the 80s.

But how does one go about interviewing rockstars? I’m glad you asked. For your convenience, I’ve simplified the complex process into a basic, easy-to-follow plan.

Landing the Coveted Interview

  1. Write for a publication that likes to profile rockstars.
  2. Beg your editor to pretty please with a cherry on top let you interview rockstars.
  3. Promise to be very professional and not make out with interview subjects until 30 days after print date. (This includes but is not limited to tour buses and hotel after-parties.)

Prepping for the Interview

  1. Practice journalistic excellence by researching the musician’s background. Leave no stone unturned.
  2. Harass their ex-girlfriends, ex-bandmates and ex-Pink Dot delivery men.
  3. Steal their medical histories from PlannedParenthood. (This step will come in useful if you fail to live up to the previously mentioned promise in rule No. 3)

Conducting the Interview

  1. Be late to the interview to show the rockstar that you “just don’t care.” This will elevate you to their level. They will respect you and refer to you as “that one cool journalist.”
  2. Rockstars love to talk about themselves. This will not do. At every possible moment, interrupt them with anecdotes about that one time you got backstage at the Buck Cherry concert.
  3. Record the interview with a digital recorder so that you can later make the rockstar’s voice into your answering machine message.

Writing the Article

  1. Transcribing is a long, ardous task. Skip it. Nobody actually cares what rockstars have to say. They aren’t writers, after all.
  2. With no transcription to bind you to the boring truth, you are free to make up your own quotes. Be creative.
  3. Using the numeric trickery from The DaVinci Code, embed your phone number into the article so that when said rockstar reads your masterpiece, he will know how to thank you.

NOTE: If you’ve made it this far and haven’t yet been sued for libel, then you’re astute enough to realize that I’m just kidding. If you want a true model of outstanding rock journalism, I would suggest reading the work of Neil Strauss and Stephen Davis.