An update, of sorts

Regular visitors to this phenomenally successful blog will no doubt have noticed a pattern: I keep drinking and smoking and lurching between one ridiculous incident and another and yet I never seem to have any success, nor do I ever really give any information about pitching, despite promises to the contrary and a blog title that suggests I really should.

Well, not today. This week has been a good one and the hours spent pitching a few weeks ago are starting to pay off. Yesterday I had two pieces commissioned and there are another couple that look as if they will be confirmed by the end of the week. And they are nice and diverse: one on naturism, another on Brazil, another on irregular sleep patterns and another one – actually this is boring. You people come here for slapsticky behaviour and spectacular muff-ups and that’s what you’re going to get.

So, in amongst my (boring) success this week, I received what was possibly the most damning reply to a pitch that I’ve ever received. This in itself was unusual. Normally when editors don’t like my ideas – which is often – they either don’t reply or reply with a brisk “not for us”. That this particular editor had taken the time to reply to my pitch in some detail was quite something.

I had pitched “Pilot Magazine” with a frankly shoddy feature idea. I know little about aviation and have no particular interest in it, but for the purposes of this experiment I have to pitch such titles. My idea was to write about the Royal Flying Doctors Service and how I had become interested in it after visiting the RFDS museum in Alice Springs, Australia. This is not true. It is true that I visited the RFDS museum in the summer, but I didn’t “become interested” and my wife laughed at me because I asked one of the staff if it was actually the doctors who flew the planes themselves. I was disappointed to find out that they didn’t.

The editor of Pilot Magazine started out saying that “a piece about that museum is a long shot and as a pro, you’d probably want paying” then went on to say that as a lot of their readers wouldn’t be able to go over there, then it wasn’t worth publishing and “as the piece would need to be photo led” and I didn’t have any photos, then that was a further reason why they wouldn’t want it. He also mentioned that he had read a lot about the RFDS over the years, suggesting that I perhaps wasn’t the right person to cover it. “Bottom line,”  he ended “probably not worth pursuing”. 

Still, good to get a reply. Plenty of my pitches don’t warrant one. Before I sign off, take the following pitch for a men’s magazine that I used to (and still do) occasionally write for. Everything about the pitch is wrong: the idea is awful, the information I give isn’t really true, it’s poorly written, I give up half way through and – the worst bit – I still sent it:

His name,
I read something the other day about how many football supporters are shunning the Premiership and supporting foreign clubs. Apparently you can nip over to Germany or Spain to watch a top match and – with plane tickets included – it costs less than going to a game in the Prem. Perhaps send a reporter (well, me) over to a game…look, even as I write these words I can tell that this one is never going to happen.
I’ll get re-thinking.
My name



4 responses to “An update, of sorts

  1. Should have said to that pilot guy that he’s got you all wrong: the story revolves round the fact that you once flew one of the flying doctors, even though you don’t know how to fly. It was an emergency and there was no pilot to hand, so you bravely stepped in, because you believe in the necessity of modern medicine and what they are trying to do. You think it’s admirable. If he still didn’t like it, tell him you’re going to fly a helicopter into his building.

  2. You’re right of course Bingo – but then again you always are. Thinking about it, I should have pitched about a doctor who both flew and did the doctoring. Which, really, they should all be able to do. Charlatans.

  3. I agree with pitchingtheworld. I know a real flying doctor who sacrificed his right to drive for his craft.

  4. Christopher Goodfellow

    Hilarious. The damn water boiled over on the hob I was so stuck reading your blog.

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