Bad At Small Talk

10 Rules For Success In The Vocation Of Print Sports Journalism As Seen By Someone Who Has More Or Less Succeeded, And More Or Less In Spite Of Himself.

 1. Read everything. Especially everything that doesn’t involve sports.

 2. That said, having actually have played competitive sports will help you to no end.

 3. The sooner you learn the difference between awards and achievement, the better.

 4. Journalism is fearsomely cliquey, and sports journalism takes the idea of pack mentality to new heights. Relish being the lone weirdo. Aspire to it.

 5. So of course, find a support system completely outside of the work and stick to it like glue.

 6. Even if your bosses truly are stupid, tell yourself they’re not. Self-brainwash if necessary. Only in the movies is raging against authority romantic. In reality, it will leave you perpetually pissed off at best, fired at worst.

 7. Print journalists love to bemoan the state of the industry. Instead of bemoaning, work harder. Getting laid off may be unavoidable, but one can be cut loose with no regrets.

 8. Avoid practiced cynicism. Sports writers love to appear jaded for coolness points. Find a different peer group for blowing off steam. Smile when everyone’s pissy, and be pissy when everyone smiles. Chances are, you’re right on both occasions.

 9. Good interviewing makes for good writing. And good interviewing is really surprisingly easy. All it takes is being totally immersed and interested in the subject. Have a conversation. Ask questions because you’re interested, not because you think they’re the questions that need to be asked.

 10. Go easy on the fucking food.


April 15, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment