Sunday, 29 April 2012


At the end of a long week, I met some colleagues from the magazine I used to work for in the local pub.  One of them, Rob, is working for the most visited newspaper website in the world (Mail Online).  He's also just about to become a father and, tired of the 12 hour days he's required to put in, has handed in his notice.  His wife has had to endure most of her pregnancy without him because of his workload and he doesn't want her to have to raise the child in the same way.  Rob's going freelance and won't be wanting for work.  He's got a brain the size of a planet and a steadfast memory, but most importantly, he writes about things he's really interested in: the web, gadgets, games and science.  Plus he's a really good writer.  Mail Online don't just employ any old idiot you know.  Incidentally, for a brilliant insight into the Daily Mail, the second most popular (and often very controversial) newspaper in the UK, the New Yorker ran a brilliant article on it here.
An Expert, yesterday.

Over our third pint, he gave me some advice.  Choose a subject that you're really into anyway or that you want to learn a lot about and then become the expert in that field.  In other words, corner the market.  If commissioning editors know that you're the go-to guy (or girl) on a particular subject, you'll always get work.  Up until now I've tried all kinds of writing and it's been really enjoyable - I like getting given a subject I know nothing about, like the MFI's I wrote about, researching it and bringing it to a wider audience.  But I think Rob might be right.   All I've got to work out now is which subject I really have a passion for.  So if you want to take some advice from Rob, a writer who does write for a living, it's specialise. 

1 comment:

  1. In my opinion it's a no brainer, you're a travel writer. You have travel writing under your belt, you got offered that paid for trip so you must have what is wanted, you have the passion and you're curious. Many many congratulations as well!