put it out there

fvbath5yy
Photograph: Sofia Coppola's beauty cabinet in Vogue Paris Dec/Jan 04/05*

"And my grandmother—I was really close to my grandmother—she was always like, ‘When are you going to write for a real magazine, one that I can pick up at the newsstand?’ So I started writing articles. All the journalism school advice tells you to write a proposal and send it to the magazine, and instead I was like, ‘I’ll just write the article.’ Like, how much more effort does it take to finish the article and write it in the voice of the magazine? Because the letter—the pitch—is kind of not in the voice of the magazine. So I wrote a piece for New York Magazine about an artist and that got in. And then I wrote a piece for Condé Nast Traveler. I always give people that advice. I don’t know anybody that followed it, but it’s definitely my number one get-ahead-in-magazines advice: write the article, don’t write a proposal. Then I had a friend who worked at Vogue and she called me and was like, ‘A beauty story just fell out at the last minute. Will you come up with something over the weekend? You know, maybe they’d look at it. Who knows?’ I was like, ‘Alright,’ and the story I wrote was about this makeup artist that was just starting her new line and it was Bobbi Brown." - Jean Godfrey-June, Lucky Beauty Director, on In The Gloss

I don't work in a fashion magazine, and neither do I have much experience trying to get started in that industry, but I do work in the publishing business, and I found this interview incredibly interesting to read - it's the sort of thing you should come across early so that you know what to do when you want to get started on your career. The part I put in bold I find to be especially good advice - it's the best way for people to judge if they want your article and you. I think the hardest thing for people to get over it the rejection - the sting of it, especially after you put in all the effort to craft something you think is wonderful. But if you are thin-skinned you probably shouldn't be in journalism.

With so many online websites these days, almost anyone can get a writing gig of some kind, simply by submitting a piece. You probably won't be paid much, but it's an opening wedge into something bigger.

Anyway, I loved her whole piece on In The Gloss, which I'm sure many of you have read already, since everyone is a fan. Her passion for beauty reporting is infectious. If you haven't, go here.

Incidentally, I also bought a copy of Lucky, for fun, and have some thoughts about the magazine poking about my head. Let's see if I can turn it into a post...

* - edited

Picture from tfs

Comments

R A said…
I would like to know more about the Sophia Coppola beauty cabinet too! She loves Nars lipstick which makes me very happy.
That amount of beauty products is crazy to me. We have a subscription to Lucky, but I rarely find things of interest in it. I think their books are better than the actual magazine!
K. said…
Would love to hear more about your work in the publishing business, and also your very own beauty regime!

I am guessing the image is from Vogue Paris Dec 04/ Jan 05, where Sofia Coppola acted as the guest editor? Mmm.

x
lin said…
RA: However I feel about her movies (like, don't love), I love her taste in things.

Pret a Porter P: I think she has enough supplies to kit me out for years, haha. It's too much for me too, and surely a lot of it will go to waste.

K: I should have said I'm a journalist...I work in a newspaper, but I freelanced before and did some lifestyle writing for magazines, and I could really relate to what Jean Godfrey-June was saying in her interview.

I thought it was that issue of Paris Vogue too, but I can't be sure, because there's no reference to it, and all the pages scanned from that issue don't include it...they're usually of the other edits and clothing pages.
miss sophie said…
this is so true. there are many careers where being thin-skinned will only hinder your progress, i think. i love her bravado and spirit of forging ahead. it's something i'm thinking about a lot these days as i engineer my career transition.
If Jane said…
oh i knew i knew! you write so well...of course you are a journalist!! xx nice surprise!!! xx
lin said…
miss sophie: I went through a bit of that last year...I wish you good luck and a clear head!

If Jane: Thanks :)
Ammu said…
I have that issue of Vogue and yup, that picture is from there. I love Into the Gloss. The layout, the idea, the photography - gorgeous. And her advice is spot-on - that said, I found the constant use of the word 'like' incredibly irritating to read :)
lin said…
Ammu: Ah I see, thanks for clearing that up. Shall edit the post to reflect that. I didn't manage to get my hands on that issue, and it still makes me sad.

I'm guilty of using 'likes' in conversation so I'm hardly one to judge, but I agree reading it in an article is quite annoying.
Stephanie said…
This is just the thing I needed to get my head back in the game. It's so hard to put myself and my work out there without feeling like I'm being too aggressive, or that I'm reaching way beyond my abilities.

If someone told me the exact steps I needed to take, I'd follow them to the letter. But knowing that everything's wide open is both freeing and terrifying...
lin said…
Stephanie: I think everyone has those moments. I've been lucky throughout my career but spending a year freelancing was interesting. Local websites seem to be the easiest to start with, like inSing for example.
editor said…
I will have to look at the full interview. I would be interested to know if she talks about rejection and dealing with that. This sample is about her incredible good luck, and great connections.
lin said…
editor: I agree that she definitely knew the right people - that's another thing she could have talked about more; learning to make connections and making use of those connections was something I really had to learn the hard way to become comfortable with, and it pays off.

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