My hair has been falling out more dramatically than usual this last week. I’ve been wanting to drink – and have drunk – more than I usually do. My head’s been crammed with junk. Sexy, isn’t it? Frankly I’m appalled that my wife doesn’t have the guts to just get up and leave me.
But then something clicked last night and I realised that there’s a reason for the hair and the drink and the junk: I’ve been trying too hard. I’ve made the mistake of getting seduced by advice on the internet and in books about pitching and for some reason have started to ape said advice. I’m a fool now and I was a fool when I started freelancing, but at least back then I was a brave fool. I’d pitch chaotically and without really researching the publication I was pitching to and I used to land far more commissions than I do now. It’s not that I didn’t care back then – I did – but I think the problem today is that I care too much and have started to approach magazines in a manner that is far too timid and uniform.
From now on then, I’m just going to be bold and experimental and a little bit sloppy in my pitches and see where it gets me. And I’m not going to read any further thoughts from lecturers at Lincoln university (or wherever the hell they happen to be) on how to approach magazines. In fact, that’s my first proper piece of advice: don’t listen to anyone. Especially me.
I’ll let you know how it goes.