GOIN’ PRO

Michael J. Totten is hoping to turn his blog into a full-time professional writing gig. He started his blog about two weeks ahead of OTB and has nearly double the SiteMeter visits and has published pieces in the Wall Street Journal and Tech Central Station. He doesn’t post as often as many of us, but he does tend to write more pieces in the 800+ word length appropriate to the op-ed and magazine writing game.

Michael’s writing is better than most, although trying to break into the business as a non-partisan, non-ranting type is going against the current. Honestly, it’s a mystery to me how some of the people with syndicated columns and writing gigs with major publications–let alone many of the TV talking heads–got there. I wish Michael success in this endeavor.

FILED UNDER: Blogosphere
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. bryan says:

    Honestly, it’s a mystery to me how some of the people with syndicated columns and writing gigs with major publications–let alone many of the TV talking heads–got there.

    Honestly, it’s like making sausage. You don’t *really* want to know. But basically, you work your way up the ladder just like people in other professions. You start out writing good copy, then you graduate to an occasional op-ed or analysis piece. You win a few awards. Pretty soon, you’re writing a semi-regular column. A columnist moves on, and someone suggests you for the spot. Boom, you’re there. Look at Maureen Dowd. What else could explain her?

    It’s a lot quicker in TV, though. It can take literally years to become a columnist for a major newspaper, but you can do it in a less than a decade on TV.

  2. Thanks, James.

    Yeah, I know, I’d have a better shot if I was a party-line guy. But I’m just not. Some people think I’m being middle-of-the-road as a career move. Only someone who doesn’t study the market could believe that.

  3. Good writing will out. And one of the great things about blogging is that it gives you an opportunity to see if you can attract an audience and hone your skills/craft.

    Then there are folks like me, blogging away even though we have no particular desire to make our living this way.

    My guess is that we will hear a whole lot from Michael in the future.