Wednesday, May 13, 2009

We Need a Pitcher Not a Belly Itcher

I have been feeling way too dependent upon my weekly writing gig, which offers tons of work at mediocre pay. So, I've been trying to branch out.

I do the usual, applying cold through ads, putting in some bids, writing notes to my contacts, but I avoid writing pitches, and I can't figure out why. I have a list of good magazines to pitch, and a ton of ideas, but I've become lazy, I think, with all the work, and the idea of going through the whole pitch-and-get-rejected process seems insurmountable.

I'm stuck in this syndrome of writing for short-term goals, but not looking at the long-term and broadening my client base.

Two months ago, I was on the beach, and found this man selling extraordinary paintings on the street. I interviewed him on the spot, bought a handful of paintings--he was the ideal outsider, visionary artist, taking a traditional Mexican art form and completely reinterpreting it with his visions. His work just jumped out at me, and I wasn't the only one. As I talked to him, almost everyone who passed by stopped to take a look at his work. I took a bunch of pictures and knew I had a story. I assembled a list of alternative art magazines, but the pitch drifts somewhere out of reach. How can that art and the potential article about it keep me up all night with excitement and, by day, elude me because I don't want to write the pitch?

The good news is that I've garnered some excellent gigs in the past couple days, including a quick tutorial on "How to Make Out with Pop Rocks Involved", a review of an art show inspired by monster movies and, my favorite, a piece on Stacy and Clinton of "What Not to Wear". Pop culture paradise.

Somewhere, in here, is a lesson for me, but I'm not ready to learn it.


mighty jo said...

i need to find work i can do from home. im going through a divorce & don't want to have to leave my kids. ive been a writer for 26 years, but i have no faith in myself. i look for jobs...send out stories...all the while telling myself, "why bother--you suck."
i know the wall of which you speak...i bump into it all the time & then turn around & go home to hide.

Serena said...

But how excellent that you send the stories out, mj...That's embracing the chaos and the possibilities, yeah? xoxo