It’s been a while since I last wrote a proper blog post, rather than just link to posts on Bornoffside. I have been writing though, as well as looking into other writing opportunities. I’ll use this blog post to go through some of the things I’ve been doing, on the off chance anyone’s interested.
For a start, I’ve been looking into writing for a couple of new websites, which has gone pretty well.
One of the two is up in the air, so I won’t name the website, in case the opportunity comes to nothing. But it has involved a chain of emails, and a sample of my writing being sent across.
The other, which I’m really excited about, is for a football statistics website called Squawka.
Squawka describe themselves as a ‘second screen’ football website. The site is set up to provide data in game, so you can build up an all-round picture of the match as it’s progressing – which players are getting forward regularly and so on. It’s also set up to analyse particular players’ performance over time, so you can compare the different strengths of similar players, broken down both by particular match, and over a longer spell.
I’ll be writing for their news/blog section, as a recurring freelancer.
Unless the quality of my work is particularly awful, or I throw up on the office photocopier, there should be more than one example of my work going up next month. (The office photocopier is roughly 200 miles from anywhere I’m likely to be, so I think I’m relatively safe.)
It’s a site that’s both informative and fairly intuitive. I’ve written before about the ‘moneyball’ approach, and the use of statistics in sport. The problem with statistics in sports coverage (or at least, in English football coverage) is that stats are often used over-simplistically, with data being cited as showing more than it does. I think that Squawka (still a young site, having only been set up a year ago) is one of the best websites out there in terms of the quality of the data and it’s accessibility. And I’m not just saying that because they’ve promised to give me money.
As well as those nonfiction opportunities, I’ve also had a pretty good month or so in terms of writing fiction.
This is probably going to sound really pathetic, so bare with me for a bit. I’ve been writing a little bit of ‘fanfiction’ as a writing exercise, to get me over the initial writing block, and start me writing.
(For anyone who’s not aware of the term ‘fanfiction’ essentially means using the characters and situations created by others in your own stories.)
By starting off writing these stories, I’ve been able to get something down on paper, write something I’m not all that emotionally invested in, and I’ve felt looser and more confident when approaching my own writing. Essentially, I’ve been treating it as a warm-up ahead of exercise.
I’ve found that as helpful in practice as I’d intended in theory – over the course of this month, I’ve started jotting down a rough idea, rounded off some vague concepts, and developed the characters within a story of my own from start to finish – I’ve got a 4,000 word story of my own written, of a quality I feel confident enough to submit as an offer for publication.
There is a small technical problem – the story has a detached, dry tone, with some of the events slightly ridiculous, playing off the detached tone for comic effect. But the jokes don’t really come in until a bit later, I’m thinking that maybe I should put another joke or two in near the start, just to establish that it’s meant to be funny…
Anyway, that’s what I’ve been up to. And there should be another couple of posts developing on what I’ve written here in the next few days.