Why I Will Still Write For Newspapers Even Though Most Times I Lose Money
This blog is pretty much dead, but every once in a while I find something I can’t ignore and need to put down. This past weekend while at the Society of American Travel Writers Editors Council in Portland, Oregon I got the chance to answer one of my most pressing personal development questions: Should I still continue to write for newspapers even though most times I lose money?
The answer is yes.
As a younger writer with the desire to move forward I’m still honing my voice. My transitions, flow, grammar and style are yet to be perfected. And while many writers even at the height of their career will say the same thing, the changing landscape of media means fewer and fewer editors out there to tighten work, rearrange, and pull out the narrative hidden among endless metaphors and descriptions.
So far I’ve been lucky enough to be edited by experienced line editors from Backpacker Magazine, Bicycling Magazine, The Denver Post and San Francisco Chronicle just to name a few. They haven’t been always fun experiences — the endless edits, tweaks and major changes sometimes leave my stomach in knots — but they have made me a stronger writer and improved my writing in a way that wouldn’t have happened if I had only written online.
Over the past three years I’ve seen a division between my friends in traditional media and online media in regards to their writing ability and how fast they progress. Many of my online friends are excellent writers, but could become great writers if only a little help were offered to them.
This is why I won’t stop pitching print outlets even though I can’t take a press trip or write the article quick enough to make a solid hourly wage. I want to become a stronger writer. I want to learn how to craft a story in a limited amount of space for a targeted readership. I want to be told I can do things better and then shown how. Even if it means I don’t go to the coffee shop every morning.
This is why I won’t give up. Even if it means a thousand rejection letters before an assignment.