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Gabriel

I'd go with Wilma, but I'd be thinkin' of Betty.

Update time, update time. Everybody loves update time.

I didn't get the magazine job.
They told me they'd "love" to work with me on a freelance basis, though, so feel free to e-mail story pitches directly. So I've sent them a number of pitches, and the response has been an overwhelming flood of absolute dead silence.

I've had two more interviews in the last two weeks, though -- both of them for internships. I've worked on and off for magazines since 2000, and still, the only bloody interviews I can get are for internships.
One of them was for a similar online hip men's magazine, and it would have paid for anything I'd published, but they also went with somebody else and said I could pitch to them. The other one I haven't heard back from yet: it was for a paying four-month internship for a campus magazine about, ironically enough, job-hunting. They said they'd let me know sometime this week... but I just noticed that they re-posted the same job ad online, after interviewing me. So I and all the other candidates must have really blown it.

Of course, I can pitch stories to them too... the problem is that I suck horrifyingly at pitching stories. It's not that I can't come up with ideas; it's more that I tend to express them very badly. When I used to write movie reviews for Exclaim!, the editor asked me to pitch ideas for a new rant column that would have actually paid. So I sent him a number of ideas... and not only did he reject every one of them, he rejected them very sarcastically. Most of the time, he completely missed the point of what I was trying to get across. Then one day, I sent him one and he replied, "Hmm... that one might work." And then went and changed his mind about it a few days later, for no apparent reason.
That's why I'm generally more comfortable with being assigned stories... or with a case like Digital Journal, where I just post whatever the hell I want and hardly anybody edits anything. And people do read Digital Journal. If only it paid more than almost nothing.

So I've been out of a day job for six weeks now. I'm not even sure whether I'm getting EI. And the worst part is that I've been feeling very unmotivated. I think it has a lot to do with the heat -- my building doesn't have air conditioning, and I'm not handling the heat wave well. So while I know I should be devoting all of my abundant free time to job-hunting, writing, pitching stories and other constructive pursuits, all I end up doing is sitting around surfing the web aimlessly or watching Red Dwarf episodes on Netflix.

In spite of unemployment, I still went to Washington over Canada Day weekend. (I'm a bad Canadian; this was the latest of several Canada Days that I spent part or all of outside the country.) I got to see a lot of the stuff I missed the last time: the Capitol, the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian, Ford's Theatre, the Exorcist Steps and Arlington Cemetery. I even caught an excellent production of The Music Man, although I couldn't get the Simpsons Monorail chant out of my head. The heat, however, was almost unbearable. And I was on my own again, which made me feel even lonelier than usual.

With my finances about to become strained again, I know I shouldn't be going to plays and concerts. But I already planned certain ones before my job slipped away. I'm seeing Peter Gabriel (again) in September and then Rush in October; this Friday, I'm seeing the Beatles-themed play Backbeat.
And now I hear that the Who (or what's left of them) is coming in November... as is Bob Dylan, opened by Mark Knopfler. Dare I strain the limits of my credit cards?

Comments

Pitching stories has got to be as much fun as the Bernie Madoff perp walk... I wish I could be the kind of pitch man that makes people forget they're being cast as the shills on the other end of the infomercial...

I suck at knowing what a report is going to look like before I write it. My clients usually morph the project scope beyond all recognition after I'm half done and then they wonder why my work is not "succint" and why it doesn't "flow" better.

Sometimes you have to be the spoiler and give away all the best parts in the movie trailer. Such artificial deja vu makes the audience feel smart for no apparent reason...

I have no advice other than "fake it 'til you make it." and as you well know "leave them wanting more." Make them ask the obvious questions so they get hooked on something that exists only as the hologram of a skeleton.

Correction: "succinct"