soda blog

  • Fred

So, You're A Journalist, Right? No.

Dear Akon... forgive me for what I'm 'bout to say...
Dear Barry Weiss, I know you told me not to worry about it man
But I can't let it ride - T-Pain, Karaoke

Over the years, people have gotten the impression that I am a full-time journalist.


This is me clearing the air and setting the record straight.

Just like Teddy Pain, I got something I need to get off my chest.



After working an 8-hour day at his full-time engineering job, Frederick happens to get a Gmail notification while drafting his latest story on a startup. It's a Founder looking for their company to be profiled in Forbes.


Founder: Hi Frederick, I hope this email finds you well. I've been seeing your content around LinkedIn and Forbes, and I love your work. I was wondering if you were interested in writing a story on my startup. We just raised a big round from marquee investors, and we're looking to announce our fundraise come next week. Are you free for a call to discuss more? We would really like you to write a story about us.


Me: Hey, thanks for reaching out. I'm sorry, but I won't be able to write a story about your company. Usually, I need advance notice (generally 1-2 months early, ideally 3 months early) to be able to write a story of sufficient quality in time. I can't do that given your current timeline. Sorry!


Founder: But I see you're content on social media and the broader web all the time! I could have sworn you're a full-time journalist.


Me: I certainly don't blame you for coming to that conclusion. But that's the thing, I'm not a journalist.


Founder: Then what are you?


Me: I'm an engineer who likes to write. I just happen to write on startups in my spare time. It's a long story, so I'll spare you the details. Writing for me is a hobby. It's a different way to stretch my brain from all the technical work I do for a living. Without my engineering background, I wouldn't be able to write the stories that I do in a compelling, concise, and coherent manner.


Founder: But you're like, really good at writing startup stories! Wouldn't you ever want to be a journalist full-time?


Me: Thanks, but no. Like I said before, I'm not a journalist. I don't have any intention of being one ever. All journalists are writers, but not all writers are journalists. The fact that I went to engineering school for six years to earn two degrees in the discipline would make the latter statement hold true. I consider myself an engineer first, writer second. Only one of these professions keeps the lights on for me. My engineering work will always be my number one professional priority.


Founder: Ok, I get it. You generally don't have the time to write like other full-time, salaried journalists, therefore requests in a short timeframe aren't best for you. What can I do on my end to maximize the chance of us working together in the future?


Me: One: reach out to me early (3 months is best). Two: provide me with a concise story pitch that covers the Problem, Market, Solution, and Team. Three: be patient, as I won't be able to get back to you during the mornings and afternoons on weekdays (as those are my work hours).


You do those three things, I'd say you have a good shot of working with me. No promises, however.


Founder: I appreciate the transparency. I look forward to pitching you in the future!


Me: Looking forward to seeing it in my inbox.


The end.


Soda



178 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Day 51: Didn't Do Much Today

I was super tired today; didn't get much done after work. I was also feeling a little bit sad about the newsletter. It's clear since December, I've lost momentum. I'll bring it back though, just need

Day 50: Setting Up The Pipelines For F2F

Great news - not only am I back on track with both Forbes and F2F, but I'm also actually ahead of the game on both! With Forbes, I have enough content lined up to get me to March. With F2F, I'm rebuil

Day 49: Nearly Caught Up On All The Writing

Feels good to say this: I've made a ton of progress on catching up F2F (and Forbes). My stress levels are starting to go down. My goal is to just continue staying on top of the newsletter work, stay f

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram