How Bleacher Report can coach up your writing game
I received a compliment from a writer this week that at first I thought was a little back-handed. But thinking about it, I realized it summed up perfectly what we’re trying to accomplish together here:
I believe I’ve gotten better in terms of polished (edited) product, thanks in part to yours and the weekly emails from the assistant editors, no doubt. I do need to create time to review other editors’ notes. But some of the things you guys pound in our heads (or at least mine) become automatic, which is sort of the goal. Like the repeated mechanics of a successful pitcher, for a sports analogy.
Also, it just helps so much to have editing backup. Not depending on it, but that second set of eyes is so valuable.
Thanks for the compliment. You’re right, there is a very clear connection to coaching and what we’re trying to do as editors: put our writers in position to succeed, improve their skills and still be who they are. There are certainly a lot of “reps” involved, but the payoff is a winning team and jump-starting successful careers with a crew of really talented writers. Thanks for all the effort you continue to put in on this as well.
Don’t ever sell what you’re doing at Bleacher Report short. (Or let anyone else do that to you either.) This is an experience to hone your skills, open up additional opportunities and get where you want to go as a writer.
The road is long and arduous, and it’s not a cliché to say you might be competing in the most crowded career race out there.
That’s why it’s so important you treat every piece you write as the first and last one a prospective employer may ever read from your byline, the first and last impression your readership will ever have of you, the one piece of sportswriting that will define you as a writer to your editors and peers in posterity. The opportunities to make impressions in this business are a lot more limited (and a lot more critical) than you might think.
On the flip side, while no piece of writing is ever perfect, and it’s certainly okay not to feel satisfied, you can be proud of what you write on a weekly basis, especially as you continue to try to improve.
Again, don’t sell that short. Publicize your accomplishments on social media, among your personal/professional/social circles and certainly to other prospective opportunities, both in sportswriting and elsewhere.
And know that we are ALWAYS in your corner, both at B/R and beyond. We rejoice when you use this experience to succeed.
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