Today I got asked by someone still in school how to do “what I do,” which is a really weird question to ask someone. I write full-time from home and get sent to ridiculous shit 24/7, and I understand that this is not incredibly common. I’m a lucky dude, but there’s really no reason that anyone else couldn’t do what I do. I feel kinda self-conscious about writing this because I don’t consider myself “legit” or anything, but fuck it I’ve met 50 Cent twice. Here’s a modified version of what I told the kid:
If you want to write, you should know that (a) it’s not easy and you have to be seriously dedicated and hyperbolically relentless. But (b), it’s really really really possible. You just have to write. All of the time. Start a blog, write for your school newspaper, whatever you can do to develop yourself as a writer until you feel comfortable trying to write for other people. Start with smaller places that pay shittily or not at all (think Thought Catalog, Potholes In My Blog, Prefix, etc) that have some sort of open call for writers. From there, you will meet people, and the people who you are writing for will help you meet people who can get you paid writing work. When you graduate, move to a place with a big writing community like New York or LA and get an internship at a magazine using the contacts you’ve made writing for those other sites. It will probably be unpaid and that is unfair and the worst, but you’ll learn a lot and probably meet some cool people. Plus it’s super hip to work in coffee shops and shit. From that point, use the clips you’ve gotten from your internship to help you get put on by legit places. That’s how I did it, at least.