put it out there
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