Wednesday, October 30, 2013

"3 Books Every Writer Should Read" by Julien Decorin


Julien Decorin (Twitter @jdecorin) lists the 3 books she thinks every writer should read.

Ready, Set, Novel!: A Workbook by Lindsey Grant
"It was written by the wonderful folks who run NaNoWriMo."

Violin by Anne Rice. 
"Anne Rice's descriptions of her scenes, surroundings and characters are so vivid that they make love to your mind."

Any Anita Blake Novel by Laurel K. Hamilton. 
"Laurel K. Hamilton's combination of horror, sexuality & the love she shows for her own imaginary friends is something I think any writer up and coming should take their tips from. It's almost as if she writes guide books for future novelists."

If you want to connect with Julien through social media, here are her websites:

Monday, October 28, 2013

3 Books that will help students be better writers

If a person is looking to improve his writing skills, then who would be a better resource for advice than an English teacher with over 36 years of experience?

Retired English teacher Darrel Harbaugh of Coffeyville, Kansas, returns to the T.Lo Club to give us his list of 3 books that will help students be better writers. Like always, if you have your own suggestion, please let us know in the comments. Plus, if you like what you read, share this post with your friends!

"3 Books that will help students be better writers" by Darrel Harbaugh

Plain English Handbook  by J. Martyn Walsh and Anna Kathleen Walsh

"For my entire teaching career I depended upon the Plain English Handbook by J. Martyn Walsh and Anna Kathleen Walsh. I was required to buy it for a class during my freshman year of college in 1971. The book is worn from use and has a copyright date of 1966 - as the fifth edition. The copyright page actually says it was first published in 1939. The book sat on my desk for over thirty-six years and was a valuable resource in helping students improve their writing skills. Yes, the book is dated and I am sure that there are more modern versions by different titles and different authors, yet people who want to become better writers should know how to write a coherent sentence. Finding a book that deals with punctuation, sentence construction and composition is the first step."

The Elements of Style  by E. B. White and William Strunk, Jr.
"Another book that is a staple for writers is The Elements of Style by E. B. White and William Strunk, Jr. Again, this book is recommended reading in college writing courses and will help budding authors learn that there is more to the English Language than one exhibits through texting. We all love shortcuts, but what is acceptable through an email or text should not be acceptable in writing a blog, news release, novel, or especially a term paper."

 MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers
"Speaking of term papers. A must reference is the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. Of course there are handbooks for APA (American Psychological Association) for those in the social sciences, but the MLA (Modern Language Association) is the most accepted format for the liberal arts and humanities."

Friday, October 25, 2013

What is it like to be an Asian-American actor? An interview with Jason R. Sol

Finding positive Asian-American representation in the media is an ongoing concern for the Asian-American community. Guy Aoki, the founding president of the Media Action Network for Asian Americans, summed up the Asian-American plight perfectly in August of 2013 when he stated, "We are the one group that can get picked on and people think they can get away with it. People are afraid of offending black people, but they aren't afraid of angry Asian people. And that's why this stuff happens."

"This stuff" he was referring to was the controversial Asian jokes and stereotypes featured in the pilot of Fox's new sitcom Dads. The pilot featured lead actress Brenda Song in a fetishized schoolgirl costume, had characters refer to Asians as "Orientals," and of course featured the obvious tired "small dick" jokes. Now that the controversy has seemingly died down because most attribute the offensive content to lazy writing, the underlying issue still remains: How long will it take for the mainstream media to portray Asian-Americans as real people and stop with the stereotypes? Do we really need more Long Duk Dongs or Mr. Chows?

Luckily, some Asian-American actors break through the glass ceiling. For instance, Steven Yeun's character Glenn on The Walking Dead is not defined by his race, and he is a masculine character who gets the girl. However, characters such as Glenn are still not commonplace, and oftentimes, Asian-American male actors have to fight over limited "geek" or "guy with accent" roles. No one can blame those who do take these roles, because after all, everyone needs to eat; but it is disheartening that finding an Asian leading male is a rarity in Hollywood.

Jason R. Sol
Thankfully that doesn't mean that Asian actors have quit the fight for positive representation. One such actor is Jason R. Sol. We connected through social media, and I'm very impressed with his story. He was successful in the corporate world, but after several years, he followed his passion to become an actor. He was recently cast in a new Korean drama series called "This Love Song" and the first episode will air October 9th. He has also appeared in short films and the TV show Royal Pains.

Jason stopped by the T.Lo Club, and we discussed defying cultural expectations to pursue one's dreams, breaking into entertainment, and what it's like to be an Asian man in Hollywood.

TL: I find it very inspiring that you chose to leave a career you were unhappy with to pursue your dreams of working in the entertainment industry. What was the moment that you knew you had to leave the corporate world?

JRS: I wanted to become an actor since I was young but always thought it was just a fantasy. Around December 2011, I was sitting at work and I had an epiphany. At that time I always heard the term “YOLO” which means “You Only Live Once.” I was also watching the HBO show “How to Make It in America” and that sparked the idea of moving to New York City (unfortunately, by the time I made the move the show was canceled). I just pictured myself 20-30 years from now, and I didn’t want to live a life of regret. Long story short: After 8 years in the corporate world, I quit my job. In a matter of a couple weeks, I pretty much sold everything that I had worked so hard for and moved to New York to pursue acting.

TL: How did your loved ones react?

JRS: I think my family always knew I wanted to get into the industry but never really took me serious because I didn’t do any theater in school. I was always involved in sports year-round. At first, they were very stunned and concerned about my wellbeing. My family was probably looking forward to the next chapter of my life—marriage, starting a family, etc. I just had to ignore the criticism and keep pushing forward. As the months went by and they could see I was working to make a name for myself, they became a lot more supportive. I remember my father saying that he’s happy for me and no matter what happens just try your best!

TL: What would you say to someone else who is in a similar situation where they are unhappy with their career but scared to make the switch?

JRS: You have to weigh your options and consider your personal situation. Since I wasn’t married and didn’t have kids, I was only responsible for feeding myself so I was content with going hungry some nights if I had to budget a little bit. Many people are working in industries they hadn’t planned to be in when they finished school. Even though I don’t make the money I used to, I’m in a much happier place in life. I wouldn’t recommend anyone just to quit their job and go into acting. I do think if you have the work ethic where you want and need this like your lungs need air, then go for it. I moved to New York with just a dream and a prayer. I told myself if I have to drum on buckets in the subway for some money then I would.

TL: What are some of the struggles you've encountered working in entertainment? How have you overcome those obstacles?

JRS: Being an Asian-American male is pretty hard in the entertainment industry. We get a lot of stereotypical roles. I would love to change those stereotypes or inspire others to do the same. The market is definitely growing for the better for Asian actors though.

TL: How did you break into the entertainment field?

JRS: When I first moved to New York, I had no idea what I got myself into. I literally started from scratch and had to find ways to get myself out there. The most important thing is to do your due diligence and research everything… and network, network, network! Networking and meeting people is the most crucial key—especially for someone like me who didn’t come from a theater background. I have been so blessed with the all the people I’ve met who have helped me along the way.

TL: Thank you so much for sharing your story. Is there anything you would like to add?

JRS: I have to acknowledge all those who have been so supportive with my career. Even though I am fairly new to acting and slowly building my credentials, the support has been overwhelming! I always make an attempt to get back to everyone that corresponds with me on all social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). It’s very humbling to hear that I’ve inspired people to pursue something that they have always been afraid of. Some people aren’t able to pursue their dreams and they live their lives vicariously through me. When I hear these stories, it motivates me to work that much harder and make sure that I don’t let my supporters down.
To connect with Jason R Sol
  1. Instagram: JasonRSoL (http://instagram.com/jasonrsol/)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

"3 Books Everyone Should Read" by Joseph Nardone

Writer Joseph Nardone shares the 3 books that he thinks everyone should read. If you would like to connect with him, you can find him on Twitter @JosephNardone



 On the Road by Jack Kerouac: 
"This is the first book I ever loved. I have probably read this thing about 30 times. For me at least, it was about self discovery and the journey of a group of friends. I have never read a book where the actions of the people resulted in the most realistic outcomes without making the story worse." 

Visions of Cody by Jack Kerouac 
"If I am telling you to read On The Road, well, you have to read Visions of Cody. You can experience them separate  but if you want to really appreciate Kerouac's work I think it is best you take both in (I am also clearly a fan of the "Beat" generation)."

Kareem by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with Mignon McCarthy: 
"This is a bio of one of the best centers in NBA history. This might not be a "must read" for folks outside of the sports realm, but it has great insight from the everyday going-ons from a player's perspective. He first couple of chapters, primarily when discussing Magic Johnson's enthusiasm is as funny as it gets. Really, I would recommend this for anyone who has to deal with an every day grind situation."

Monday, October 21, 2013

3 Books Your English Teacher Thinks You Should Read (10/21/13)

Continuing with our series, "3 Books Your Teacher Thinks You Should Read," the T.Lo Club is hosting retired educator, Darrel Harbaugh. Mr. Harbaugh taught for over 36 years in high schools in Kansas, and 34 of those years were at Coffeyville's Field Kindley Memorial High School. He taught a variety of subjects including English, Oral Communications, and Debate and Forensics; and today, he graciously gives us his list of 3 fiction books everyone should read.

"3 Fiction Books Everyone Should Read" by Darrel Harbaugh


To Kill a Mockingbird  by Harper Lee
"Now I assume that since many high schools across the country teach To Kill a Mockingbird most people have already “read” it. If you have not read it, then do so. My mother who is 86 just read the book for the first time a couple of years ago. She knew that the book was required reading in my English classes and basically wanted to know why. She loved the book! After reading it, she asked me to give her a test. Suffice it to say, I did not “test” my mother, but we did have some very enlightening discussion. She was alive during the 1930s when the book is set. I was not. If you read it in high school, read it again without a teacher telling you that you have to read it because it is in the curriculum. This book has been credited with helping start the civil rights movement, but just as important, the story is told through the eyes of an innocent child. The book is as much about life lessons such as “consider things from someone else’s point of view” as it is about racism. The first half of the book is about growing up in what appeared to be a “more innocent” time. The antics of Scout (the narrator who is five are the beginning of the book), Jem (Scout’s older brother who is nine) and Dill (Scout and Jem’s friend who is six) are fun. The fact that many say the character Dill is based upon Harper Lee’s childhood friend, author Truman Capote, has always been intriguing to me. The best reason I was ever given for reading/teaching this novel was when a close friend of mine told me, “To Kill a Mockingbird is a manual on how to raise children.” Every father should strive to be Atticus Finch, and children should be as imaginative and creative as Scout, Jem and Dill.

Fahrenheit 451: A Novel  by Ray Bradbury and Animal Farm by George Orwell
"I enjoy science fiction, and I would recommend Fahrenheit 451  and Animal Farm by George Orwell. Both teach us about society and pose the question of what sort of world in which we want live? Again, common high school text, but what can I say? I am a high school teacher.


Friday, October 18, 2013

Confessions of a book blogger, an interview with Brianna Soloski

Today, book blogger Brianna Soloski of Girl Seeks Place stopped by The T.Lo Club to share tips for writers on how to get read by book bloggers. In addition to reviewing books on her blog, she is also an editorial assistant at DAVID Magazine, a Las Vegas city lifestyle magazine, and a freelance writer and editor.

TL: Besides blogging, what do you like to do for fun?
BS: I love to read and can usually be found with my nose in a book. I also enjoy writing and traveling.

TL: What do you look for when deciding what to review for your blog?
BS: I’m not too picky about what I review, which usually results in being overwhelmed by the stack of books I need to review. I like historical fiction, especially Regency Romance, literary fiction, chick lit, YA, and new adult.

TL: What is your advice for writers who want to be noticed by book bloggers?
BS: Do your research. Don’t blindly email a blogger without spending some time on their site. Get a feel for what they like to read and pitch accordingly.

TL: What are some of the challenges you've encountered as a book blogger and how have you overcome it?
BS: People assuming that just because I’m a book blogger, I’m willing to review whatever lands in my inbox or mailbox. I’m not. I’m involved with tour sites and get quite a few blind pitches each month.

TL: Anything you would like to add?
BS: Be patient. If you send me a book for review, don’t assume it’ll get done tomorrow. I have a massive back log and am really behind. It’s not that reviewing isn’t a priority, it is. It’s just that I have another job and will be returning to school in January. My time is very limited.

To connect with Brianna, check out her  sites:

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

"3 Books Every Aspiring Journalist Should Read" by Joseph Nardone

Joseph Nardone, the Managing Editor of Storm the Paint, shares his list of 3 Books Every Aspiring Journalist Should. Tweet him @JosephNardone

Anything and everything written by Dan Wetzel
 "If you are a person who follows sports you know who Wetzel is. If you don't you are doing it wrong. He is probably one of (if not) the best sports writers of our generation and has some really good work out there. His ability to put his content ahead of him is rare in the age of "look at me" sports writing."

Sports Journalism at its Best: Pulitzer Prize-Winning Articles, Cartoons, and Photographs by Heinz-Dietrich Fischer 
"Great sports related content in the book. It's a good way to see how sports used to be covered. It's just done in a different way today, but some of the articles in the book romanticize sports to the point you would want to date an inanimate object."

Drunk on Sports by Tim Cowlishaw 
"A lot of folks only know of Tim as the guy from ESPN's Around The Horn, but he has been around and in the newspaper business for a few decades now. This book has as much to do with Tim's struggles with the bottle as it does with his writing career. It rang a bell with me and it might do the same for folks who don't realize how much work and shenanigans are involved in this kind of career." 


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Advice to Aspiring Journalists from Dateline NBC's Josh Mankiewicz

Josh Mankiewicz (Photo courtesy of NBC)
Dateline NBC Correspondent Josh Mankiewicz was kind enough to stop by T.Lo Club and give us an exclusive interview about what it's like to be a broadcast journalist, how to get interview subjects to answer the tough questions, and how aspiring journalists can break into the field today. If you'd like to connect with Josh, you can find him on Twitter @JoshMankiewicz 


TL: You have been a correspondent for Dateline NBC since 1995. What has been the biggest challenge of being a television journalist? What are the best parts of it?  
JM: The best part is that I've been able to be a working reporter since 1975, and I wouldn't trade that life for anything. The biggest challenges on a newsmagazine are a little different than the ones I faced as a political or general assignment reporter: We don't air daily, so concerns about the details of day to day reporting are less immediate. I'm more concerned with whether our interviews are good enough, whether the writing is something other than bland and forgettable, whether we challenge every character in the story --especially the sympathetic ones. Does the story have an edge? Is there some velocity to it? Have you invested your audience in the details and the outcome, or did all that go by in a blur?

TL: You've covered a wide range of topics from the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray to the terrorist takeover of the Japanese embassy in Peru. What advice would you give to young journalists who also want to cover these types of in-depth stories?   
JM: Start by covering the police beat, City Hall, and the schools. Reporting is reporting, writing is writing, and there's no short-cut to getting good at either except to do them, a lot. You can't do in-depth work until you're good at the day to day deadline reporting. Every good journalist you admire started this way.

TL: What methods do you use to get shy interview subjects to talk? 
JM: We tell people that we can't possibly tell their story as well as they can, and that they're sure to like the finished product a lot more if they're in it. Sometimes that works. Sometimes not. But it's 100% true. 

TL: How did you break into television journalism?  
JM: I started as a part-time, summer-relief desk assistant on the ABC News Washington assignment desk when I was still in college.  I became full-time after I graduated.

TL: Do you think aspiring journalists need to get degrees in journalism to break into the field now? Or are there other avenues they can use to get their foot in the door, and if so, what are they?  
JM: I don't think it's necessary anymore -but I think it's still very good training to get a graduate degree. An undergraduate degree in journalism/PR/communications is pretty much worthless --maybe less than worthless because it means you didn't take history or literature courses.   Clearly there are doors open now that weren't before; plenty of ways to start writing & reporting via the internet.I would urge all aspiring journalists to learn how to shoot and video-edit their own stories, as well as becoming proficient in computer-assisted reporting. Those are the skills that managers will be looking for in the years ahead.

TL: If you had not become a journalist, what other career could you see yourself doing? 
JM: I often wish I'd gone to law school and then gotten into Federal prosecution somewhere. But then I still wish I'd gone into journalism after that. It would have been good background. And many of the same skills come into play.

TL: What's the best advice you've ever received? 
JM: "An interview isn't a true success unless you learned something you didn't know when you went in, and something your subject didn't want to tell you." -Peter Davis, documentarian and Academy Award-winning director of 'Hearts and Minds' and 'The Selling of the Pentagon'.

TL: Anything you would like to add? 
JM: The news business, particularly at the local level, has been taken over in the last two decades by people who see themselves not as journalists but as programmers, whose job it is to attract and hold an audience, not to tell people what's important or vital to their lives. That alone is a huge reason why main-stream journalism has suffered so much in recent years: because we're not telling people anything they need to know, anything they can't get anywhere else. We're just giving them what we think they want.

Monday, October 14, 2013

3 Books Your English Teacher Thinks You Should Read (10/14/13)

Some of the most influential people in my life have been my teachers, and to this day, I'm grateful for the skills they taught me and for the encouragement they gave me to follow my dreams. In honor of the amazing people who educate young minds and motivate students to be the best they can be, I am adding a new section to the blog "3 Books Your Teacher Thinks You Should Read."

For our first post in this series, I got a list of recommendations from English teacher, Jenna Edwards. Jenna has 14 years of teaching experience, and she currently teaches English III AP/GT and English II. Here are the three books she thinks everyone should read. 

"3 Books Everyone Should Read and Why" by Jenna Edwards

"Hawthorne's level of vocabulary is challenging and his sentence structure is complex.  It is a challenge, but imitating his style is a great exercise.  It makes students more aware of their own structure and also makes them pay more attention to close reading and recognizing ambiguities.   It freaks them out that I can ask 15 questions and make an essay prompt out of what they think is a seemingly unimportant passage."
 
The Great Gatsby
"This is not just a great period piece, but an awesome opportunity for rhetorical analysis.  What is his argument and how does he accomplish it?  So much rich language is used and it is another opportunity for students to imitate style to make them better writers. Give a sentence and make them imitate construction and images."
 
Fahrenheit 451: A Novel
"The language used is impeccable.  I have them write a rhetorical prĂ©cis over the images used in chapter one, but the entire book is phenomenal.  The issues raised are timely and transcend eras and give the students great talking points for discussion.   They are proud readers by the end."

Friday, October 11, 2013

Using Youtube to promote your writing, an interview with Tim Diggs

Connect with Tim on Twitter @lovelessronin
One component of social media marketing for authors is the creation of a Youtube channel. It is recommended to make videos to connect with fans, but there are challenges to doing this if you are a Do-It-Yourself-er. For instance, the key to creating a following on Youtube is content and consistency, and one without the other will hinder the growth of your audience. However, with time constraints and lack of manpower, content and consistency is easier said than done, and some writers argue that it is better to start somewhere than to not post content at all. (I will post more on this topic in an upcoming Social Media Friday post. Stay tuned to this blog for more details!)

Today, I'm welcoming Tim Diggs, a poet and writer from North Carolina. He has been writing for a long time as a hobby, but recently he has begun to share his passion of writing through blogging, Twitter, and Youtube videos. He was kind enough to stop by The T.Lo Club and talk about his journey into perfecting his craft and getting his writing out there.

TL: I think it's great that you share your writing through Youtube videos. It's very innovative. What inspired you to connect with audiences this way?

TD: Honestly, I wanted to use Youtube as a starting point before I started doing live poetry slams (which I've yet to do.) I promoted it a little and I even got a couple of views! I intend on putting more videos out soon.

TL: That's great to hear you want to do live poetry slams. If you want to get into that, you should check out this article about international slam poet MC FOLEY. Now back to social media. Everyone knows that social media is a big component now for writers to get their work out there to the public. What challenges have you faced with social media marketing? How have you overcome those challenges?

TD: I'm still overcoming the social media hurdle, to be honest! It's hard promoting at times but I've just been sure to use my socials networks to my advantage. Hashtags on Twitter, Instagram, etc. I would also suggest that any fellow writers use the same tactic and try to network with other writers, poets, and social media personnel!!

TL: Side note to my readers that Tim and I connected through Twitter, so he definitely practices online networking. So Tim, what are you working on at the moment?

TD: A couple of drafts of some more poetry and the outline of a short story. I'm honestly beginning work on a novel that I'd like to have completed by 2014. I love every genre of writing from sci-fi and fantasy to urban and suspense. I'm definitely looking to expand my range of writing, learning, and growing!

TL: Thank you so much for stopping by! Anything you would like to add?

TD: I want to encourage anybody who writes or does poetry to keep at it. Nobody can tell you your feelings when you right. It's your job to make the reader feel what you feel. Sadness, passion, joy, success. Your greatest tool is your mind so keep it sharp!





Monday, October 7, 2013

What does it take to be a sports writer? Storm the Paint's Joseph Nardone gives us the inside scoop

**I tried Grammarly's grammar check free of charge because I want my blog posts to be as enjoyable to read as possible.** 
Today I'm excited to speak with Joseph Nardone, the Managing Editor of sports website Storm the Paint. We talk about how he broke into professional sports writing, and what advice he has for anyone who wants to be a sports journalist. If you'd like to connect with him, you can find him on Twitter @JosephNardone.

TL: You are the Managing Editor for Storm The Paint. Can you tell my readers what makes the website unique from other sports sites?
JN: Storm The Paint is a team specific website. We cover the St. John's Red Storm who are a basketball only program. Since college football is far more popular and St. John's has a relatively limited fanbase (not small for college basketball, but when compared to schools who offer football and basketball) we rely heavily on pop-culture, (bad) satire and branching out to talk about the NCAA.

We do so in a way that tends to bring in more casual readers. Whether it is our comparison of Big East programs to beer, the NCAA to the WWE or other, general comparisons, we try to make it reader friendly for not just St. John's fans but casual sports lovers.

Storm The Paint also tries to balance the news and opinion aspect of the site. I have intentionally avoided gaining access to the team so we won't be too emotionally attached to the program. Not that having access automatically means you lose all objectivity, but our goal is less of being a news site and more of being a fun place to visit while having your morning coffee. It is important to us to not talk down to our readers. Yes, we want to educate, but we don't want readers coming to our site feel like it is work or a class.

TL: In your journalism career, did you ever try other beats? How did you end up a sports writer? How long have you been a journalist?
JN: This all started by accident. I always thought of doing something like this, but never really went out of my way to obtain it or do anything that would result in tangible results. A few (maybe three) years ago I started a general sports blog, got noticed and got picked up by a media network called Rant Sports. Unlike my blog, they paid me. It was there that I realized I might be decent at this sports writing thing. After just a few months with that company they promoted me to "Senior College Basketball Writer" -- which paid even more.

After some time there and the heavy workload that it brought, I realized "high-volume blogging" was not something I wanted to do. Not that there is anything wrong with posting seven articles a day, but it really hampered my creativity as a writer and I would always find myself in a position where I felt I was regurgitating someone else's hard work. I pretty much felt like I was selling-out for money to be the kind of online sports writer I always hated. That's not a knock on the company, but more of a short-coming of my own. Not having the ability to keep up with that kind of grind. At the end of the day, however, Rant was great for me as it resulted in my first legitimate paid position and some of my work ending up on USA Today. Still, I felt like I was always balancing my crediblity as a writer with meeting my quota.

The position with The FanSided Network came along when I thought about leaving sports writing all together. It was with these guys where I was offered Storm The Paint and free creative control. I still have quotas and whatnot, but nothing to the point where I should lose my love of writing about basketball.

TL: You also are working on fiction. What is your project about and what inspired you to write it?
JN: When I was younger, like high school, I thought fiction is where I would end up. I used to write a ton of short stories about nothing of relevance. At one point I had a 4000 word short story about a hot dog. A girl I dated back then got me to start writing to vent my frustrations instead of doing other, harmful things. So we can blame her for whatever bad fiction comes from my laptop.

This project is fiction, but is rooted in reality. I am planning on it being a full blown novel, but (as anyone who has attempted) I am currently 30 some thousand words deep and not sure anyone but me would be interested. Long story short, the main character is an unredeemable, unlikable guy. He blames all his short comings on every once else while battling personal demons that he can't even recognize. Every time you think you might feel sympathy for the character or at the least can justify his actions, he seems to go out of his way to show why he is his own worst enemy.

At this point I am mildly satisfied with how it is going, but I am currently debating on whether or not to go back, cut the story a bit and make it a short. Either way, this project has been cathartic and who knows, maybe someone will be dumb enough to print it or help me get it available on Kindle or some other online outlet.

TL: Anything you would like to add?

JN: Writing about sports is hard. Well, let me be more clear. Writing about sports is fun, everything else that goes with it is brutal. I have yet to publish any fiction, but I think it is safe to assume it's similar. People tend to try to poke holes in your work more than appreciate the effort you put in, the politics that go on while trying to advance you career is insane and as soon as you think you "made it" you will immediately feel like you sold out.

Personally, not because I don't love it, I plan on slowly easing my way out of sports writing. I really love doing it and have met tremendous people along the way. However, there is millions of folks who want to do this with only a few thousand legitimate paying jobs. I am as replaceable a sports writer as there is and it is a fact of reality that I have accepted. At this point even I feel like I am overstaying my welcome in the sports writing community.

I am not saying that to discourage anyone from trying to do this. I just want them to realize that a lot of hardship comes with being a sports writer. Only a very few end up on TV or make enough money to not work multiple jobs. Even now, despite making an earnest living, I have to hold down another job to make sure I get by. Even when I was getting paid per article (which is rare in today's writing world. A writer is usually paid a share of ad-revenue), I had to hold down a part-time gig.

With all of that being said, though, I wouldn't trade the last few years for anything. The people you meet and the good times will far outweigh any of the negativity that comes with it.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Julien Decorin on writing

Julien Decorin, who is currently working on her first novel, had this beautiful quote to share about writing and why it is so important to her.              
"Writing has always been a big part of my life. When I was little, I would tell stories to my mom that would come from my imagination even if they never made any sense. She nicknamed me her "little bard." I would write down short stories in notebooks I'd keep hidden from the rest of the world. (Yup I was the strange girl with a notebook.) The people I write about are not just characters, they are my friends. Although imaginary, they are real to me. I feel their joy, their pain and their sorrow. I want to give them as much pleasure as I can, but at the same time cause them as much sorrow as they can bare. We have a rather love/hate relationship at times, but they speak clearly to me as if they were standing in front of me. Any real writer in my opinion treats their characters as if they are real. If they are real to the writer, they will be real to the reader. Writing has been my life, my imaginary friends are my companions and I get to visit beautiful imaginary worlds with them." 
If you would like to learn more about Julien, you can connect with her on social media.