RE: Advice for a regular journalist?

Subject: RE: Advice for a regular journalist?
From: "Bill Trippe" <btrippe -at- nmpub -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 19 Oct 2004 22:30:49 -0400

Bruce Byfield wrote:

> I know that some list members have been journalists, so I was
> wondering if any
> of them had any suggestions about what to expect, how to make the
> transition,
> what mistakes to avoid and - well, anything else that they might
> be willing to
> share.

Hi Bruce,

First of all, congratulations on the move. I have spent perhaps 20-30%
of my time doing journalistic work for the past few years, along with
other kinds of writing and consulting. I have a fairly narrow
focusing on content management and XML-related technologies.

A few thoughts, none of which is particularly profound...

1. Payment cycles can be slower than corporate work, though it varies. But
you might get paid net 60 instead of net 30, or the timing of the payment
may be contingent on when the material appears rather than when you are
2. I find that my relationships with my editors are really the key. This
includes understanding house style, etc, but I also find that I am more in
with my editors when I have written a few things for them.
3. I am really fast at some kinds of writing and painfully slow at others.
probably know this about yourself already, but I am a horribly slow learner
when it comes to my own strengths and weaknesses. But I have learned over
that I am really good and really fast at, say, product reviews of a certain
length, but very slow at, say, company profiles. This has an impact, of
on how profitable a given project is for me.
4. Because of my relatively narrow focus, and because I am fairly technical,
am able to concentrate my research at times in such a way that I end up with
more than one article on a topic--say, a couple of product reviews, a
and more of an overview piece. This can also make a given period of time
more profitable for me.
5. I am able to do a great deal of work from the comfort of a home office
and a nearby
shared office, but I also like to get out and about. So I try to get work
some of the conferences and trade shows. I am in greater Boston, so a lot
things happen right here, but I also like to get on the road a bit. I enjoy

Hope this helps! I am mainly a lurker on this list, but have always enjoyed
your posts.



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Advice for a regular journalist?: From: Bruce Byfield

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