Monthly Archives: August 2010

Searching

Readers may be stunned to hear that my shabby-as-hell travel pitch has received a reply. It reads:

Hi, there; So sorry to hear about your wife. Not sure that self-improvement
is such a great idea but do come up with some travel thoughs and you could
always weave in your personal situation etc.

Readers may be less stunned to hear that despite assurances I was going to be updating this blog daily with pitches, I failed on day two. And although I promised to take down Pitching the World if I didn’t fulfil my promises, I’m not going to. And I’m not going to because the only reason I didn’t put a pitch up yesterday was to prove a point. Pitching the World, you see, is concerned not only with pitching a very small part of the world not very regularly, but also with the life of a freelance journalist. And this freelance journalist has been simultaneously working as a researcher on a documentary and being sort of homeless and hasn’t had a great deal of time. Hence no pitch being posted.

I do, however, have the time to give an insight into the sort of readers this award-winning fucker attracts. Today, people found themselves on Pitching the World after searching for:

‘pictures of egg’

‘crack houses’

‘egg’

‘pictures of a egg’

‘pitching the world’

‘egg pictures’

‘egg images’

‘living in bournemouth’

‘pic of a egg’

‘cath boundy’

Most of my new readers, it seems, are fans of eggs or pictures of eggs and not fans of grammar. I don’t know how to take this.

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This is how to pitch*

Dear Guardian/Daily Mail Travel Ed,

I’m in a tight spot. I thought I was in a tight spot before, but I wasn’t. I am now. I had been planning a holiday this summer with my wife, but recently my wife has done the decent thing and left me. The decent thing for me to do in this situation is still go on holiday. But I’m in a tight spot. First, because over the last eighteen or so months my soon-to-be-ex-wife and I have, in one form or another, been across most of the planet and I’m reluctant to go somewhere where the memories are still too raw. Second, I’d like go somewhere and improve myself, not just get drunk, get involved in meaningless romantic encounters and get imprisoned, no matter how attractive that might sound.

What I’m proposing for a feature then, is this: I find a suitable holiday where self-improvement is key and write about it, perhaps under the umbrella of “Holidays for when you’ve just broken up” or something equally as catchy. Perhaps something where I learn to sing for a week, or work in the favellas of Rio or study philosophy in Greece. Something, in short, whereby I come back a better a person.

Now, I realise this idea sounds rubbish but it only sounds rubbish because I’m a bit drunk. The idea itself is beautiful. Hundreds of thousands of people in the UK split up with long-term partners every year and they all still want to go away and come back better. I’ll tell them where to go, so to speak.

Yours Sincerely,

Pitching the World

PS Believe it or not I have plenty of clips from travel magazines and newspapers, including your own, should you wish to see them.

* Except, of course, it isn’t. In fact, it’s the worst pitch I’ve ever sent and that, truly, is saying something.

Swill

If you’ve come here to read about a massive fuck-up pitching magazines, then look away now. I’m becoming less of a fuck-up by the second and, for the time being at least, have stopped pitching magazines. I’ve stopped pitching magazines not, as some of you might suspect, because I don’t have the stomach or the inclination, but because my dog eared copy of the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook is in London, and I’m down here, in Shitmouth.

That is the only reason: the absence of a book. Not the absence of ideas, nor the absence of enthusiasm, but the absence of the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook. Those of you who have witnessed me fumble around and fuck-up over the last ten months or so will know that when I’ve got the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook by my side I’m unstoppable. I’m a machine.

Now, I’m well aware that a lack of copy from Pitching the World could well throw the publishing industry into a funk from which it never recovers so with that in mind I’ve decided to direct my efforts towards the swill that is British Newspapers. Yes, I thought this morning, why not give newspapers the privilege of rejecting my ideas time and bastard time again rather just magazines? Why not spread it around a bit?

I’ve written for newspapers before of course. Oh, of course. I’ve written for The Guardian (three times), The Independent (once), The Daily Mail (twice) and the News of the World (once). A paltry amount, but if you were ever unfortunate to hear me talking about my ‘career’, you would think that I was far more prolific. When people ask me what I do and who I write for I tell them: ‘Oh, you know, I write for The Guardian [the last time was in January this year, the time before that in June 2008], The Independent [one feature in spring 2007], The Daily Mail [one feature I wrote for The Guardian which was bought by the Mail in June 2008, another late last year that was originally a 2,000 piece that they cut down to 400 words] and, well, sometimes the News of the World [not even really true this one. One feature for the News of the World’s Fabulous magazine which hasn’t run yet]. But most of my stuff is for magazines [this bit it true. It needs to be].

But I’d like to write more for newspapers. And it is possible for me to write more for newspapers, clearly I haven’t really written that much for newspapers. This week then, I’ll be pitching at least one newspaper per day, starting tomorrow of course. And, from tomorrow, I’ll be putting up a pitch a day until Friday. No more talk (for a bit), about going bald and mad or about beetroot or ballooning alcoholism or the time (yesterday) when I listened to Clair de Lune and fell to bits. Instead, just pitches with no fluff. And if I don’t do this – and there’s definitely no way that I won’t do this – then on Friday I will take Pitching the World down, never write another entry, and go and work on the bins for the next decade or two. This, it seems, is what it has come down to.