Monday, September 29, 2014

Pieces on writing - about Jeff Pearlman, interviewing subjects & giving yourself permission

There's been a few different pieces I've seen lately that seem to group together as being about both the want to and how to of producing great writing.

The most recent of the pieces was "The Making of a New York Times Bestselling Sportswriter: The Jeff Pearlman Story" by Jon Finkel for the site ThriveWire and it featured the interesting tale of how Pearman became a successful writer. On one hand, I find it somewhat flummoxing to read of someone who knew at a young age what they wanted to do and then did it (I mean, if only we all knew when young what we wanted?!), see Stephen King from his excellent book On Writing, but on the other hand, there was great stuff from Pearlman on both his repeated and creative efforts to eventually get hired at Sports Illustrated and about the importance of reporting, rather than just writing.

This idea of reporting and interviewing very much ties into another interesting piece I've seen recently. "The Art of the Interview, ESPN-Style" was by David Folkenflik for NPR in 2006 and about Jack Sawatsky, a writing professor turned interviewing guru that was hired by ESPN to teach the craft.

The last piece to note here wasn't on the how to in becoming a successful creative, but very much the want to as Brian Koppleman on his person website wrote "Permission Granted!" about career advice he gave to a young writer/director and Koppleman finished his piece with...

"You are the only one who can give yourself permission. I am the only one who can give myself permission. And this young man is the only one who can give himself permission. And that is great news. That is freedom. If we let it be. We just need to listen to ourselves, to speak honestly to ourselves, to permit ourselves. And then, we are off and running."