Adventures In Freelancing: Recent Links

After announcing the new recurring feature Adventures In Freelancing, I figured it would be a good idea to throw up some links to my work with a few comments about my process and that kind of thing.

My weekly TV column for Maxim.com continues to roll on. You can check out this week’s here and then check out the Writing Links tab up there in the right hand corner for past entries. I write We Like To Watch the week before it goes up by going through TVGuide.com’s schedule and writing notes about what new shows might be interesting to watch. With something like this, it’s key to keep your audience in mind, so I’m not going to write about how much I actually like Real Housewives of New Jersey or something like that, but I can poke fun at it. I try to match the voice of the magazine and other pieces I’ve read on the website. Adapting like that is key when writing for many different outlets.

Meanwhile, I’ve also been continuing to do lots of work for UGO.com’s The Goods section. I write a WTF Star Wars?! every single day, it’s usually the first thing I do in the morning. When my editor first pitched me on the idea, I thought it would last maybe a month, but I’ve got a whole folder filled with future entries and see a few things every day to add. So much Star Wars! I’m also continuing to work on a weekly DVD/Blu-ray column for them called Blu-sday which I picked up from my buddy Adam Tracey. This week’s entry can be found here and you should check out last week’s which isn’t based on new movies, but existing football flicks. For this one, I go through Amazon’s listings, open a bunch of tabs and narrow it down to five entries and then have fun with it.

My gig with UGO also includes list elements every week or so, which we try to tie-in with something happening that week in pop culture or something coming up. I did a Fall Toy Preview list of upcoming products that look rad, a list of great American spies based on George Clooney’s The American, the greatest Star Wars toys of all time and a list of geeky movie and TV locales you should check out when you’re in NYC for NYCC. I generally don’t read the comments for these things because they make me sad, but I got a chuckle out of the guy who asked why I forgot to put James Bond on the list of great American spies. Sigh. With the lists, I find it’s best to use elements you’re familiar with maybe a few you don’t know about thrown in to mix it up. You’re always going to have people hollering why their pick isn’t on the list. That’s the internet, everyone has an opinion, but some people get paid for theirs while others give them away.

Speaking of lists, a few of the ones I’ve written for Topless Robot have gone up like 10 NES Games Based on R-Rated Movies and the 10 Most Screwed-Over Children of Superheroes in Comics. The first I came up with after seeing a ton of surprising games based on R-Rated flicks. I’ve got a whole second list that could be used for a follow up if there’s enough interest which is why some obvious ones were missing (another comment section I read a few entries from). The second list was spawned from all the internet clamor over the death of Roy Harper’s daughter Lian in Justice League: Cry For Justice. TR is great because you get to really exercise your snakry muscles. With these I pitch the editor with ideas and he either assigns them or doesn’t, then I work on them when I can, turn them in and keep an eye on the site for when they go live. More topical ones get posted sooner, so staying current is key. I just pitched a few Halloween/horror lists that I’m excited to work on soon.

I’ve also been writing for ToyFare lately, but that issue is being closed right now, so you won’t see those efforts for about a month. I do believe that #159 is out right now, which means you can check out my feature where I got to interview my former boss Zach Oat and sculptors Tim Bruckner and Ruben Procopio about their upcoming book Pop Sculpture and all the Incoming writing. #160 has a feature I was really excited to write and I think turned out well, but you’ll have to wait and see what that’s all about. I love all the web work I do but there’s something really cool about going to a grocery or book store and being able to pick something up with your name in it.

Finally, I’ve done a lot of work for Marvel’s website. These pieces are either recurring monthlies like Five Favorite Avengers (with Bill Rosemann and Tim Seeley) and Earth’s Mightiest Costumes (Quicksilver) or specific assignments on upcoming projects like Ant-Man & The Wasp, Chaos War: Dead Avengers and the Iron Man 2: Public Identity trade. I really like doing pieces for Marvel because it keeps me in touch with the world of comics, which is what I cut my teeth on as a writer. It’s also a lot of fun talking with creators about their process and seeing what’s coming up.

So there you have it, this is what I do all day, every day. If you have any questions leave a comment or drop me an email at tjdietsch AT SYMBOL gmail DOT com.

UPDATE: I just spent way too much time re-doing the Writing Links section, giving each website or magazine their own page. Check it out and let me know if any of the internal links don’t work. Thanks!

Adventures In Freelancing: An Introduction

I fully intended to kick this recurring column off last week as Friday marked the one year anniversary of my being laid off from ToyFare. It was a really strange and stressful time, but it actually turned out really well for me because I was able to realize a life long dream: working as a full time writer. I probably never would have jumped into the pool myself, but being thrown in really helped and now I’m moving along swimmingly.  Sure it’s freelance and no it wasn’t easy to get to a point where I could–in theory–support myself if I lived on my own and in a different state, but I’ve really grown to love my new job and don’t even find myself trolling websites for jobs anymore. It’s a good place to be at.

So, with that in mind, I wanted to start a recurring column where I talk about doing freelance writing for a living. Since I mostly write about toys, comics, movies, TV and other pop culture elements, the column will pull from that experience, but I would imagine that my experiences are somewhat universal and can be applied to other topics. I obviously don’t know everything, but hopefully I know somethings that might help you out either getting work or avoiding some of the pitfalls I fell into. I encourage lots of comments and questions. Next week’s more robust column will be the first installment in a multi-part post about getting work!