zeinmelek said: How did you manage to get magazines to take your work seriously at 15? I've had a lot of trouble on that front, and promises from editors often lead nowhere. You are such a huge inspiration! (ngl i'm also jealous) xx
I didn’t try to convince them, I just did the work and proved myself on my own terms in public and they came to me to buy things I’d previously published and assigned me things they knew I’d be capable of because they knew I could deliver. I was precocious, I’m not here to write some bullshit fashion reviews at a show, I have no intention of miming other fashion writers for legitimacy. I just wrote about what I knew — I think this is important. As a young writer, what do you know? Not to be an asshole: but what perspective are you bringing to the plate that someone else isn’t? And is your work mostly just tearing down others? This is a thing I notice in young writers right now; their production is mostly criticism of the content treadmill as it stands which 1. does say something for sure 2. isn’t adding something entirely new to the conversation 3. burns bridges before you build your own.
The thing is I am finding from young writers pitching to me, is that the ideas are very much there, but a lot of them are just not good enough writers yet to get to the point — they’re either writing too personally or they’re writing in a voice that isn’t theirs. It takes quite awhile to find your writing voice, and then some finesse to adjust your voice to a publication. This comes with practice — and magazines could pay a seasoned writer to do that over a young gun who hasn’t finished AP English yet. That being said: age isn’t an indicator of how good a writer you are, for sure. There are a bunch of shitty middle aged writers with a buncha bylines. However, there are just as many fifteen year old writers who still need the finessing and need to build up clips. You must have clips before you pitch anywhere. Write on your own, who cares. But if you don’t have anything to show an editor they have no reason to let you run with a story. I have also found younger writers to be vastly more unreliable — school obligations push back deadlines. Older and more established writers would be mortified to do so because they recognize the long game and the fact this paycheck could lead to future paychecks which gets the rent paid. Your editors don’t really care about your finals, y’all. Not that we don’t wish you well on them, but if you’re going to say you can write something on time, you should communicate in an orderly fashion that you can’t do it and not say “finals” like it’s the equivalent to “the dog ate my copy” when someone checks up on you. You promised to do a job. Be responsible.
All things considered — I am still ride or die for seeing young guns take over mastheads. But you do still have to put the hours in and perfect your writing and professionalism. I myself am not perfect at it, but I mean, I’m still doing better than most.