Archives: “Millennials”

When did you begin your writing career?

I began my writing career in 2005, after I was fired from my first job out of college. I started writing for Gay City News and The Villager—mostly covering exotic events (like dog parades) and some local politics, such as the mayoral race. I started at the bottom of the totem pole, picking up whatever stories I could get assigned.

My very first article was in Gay City News—a good friend’s uncle was an editor there and they took a chance on me. In 2008, when I was 26, I was given my first assignment from The Wall Street Journal and later, The New York Times.

How is it you didn’t even go to journalism school? Did that put you at a disadvantage—or an advantage?

I know there are many schools of thought about journalism. There are definitely moments I’ve thought seriously about [going to journalism school], but I thought I would lose momentum. The tradeoff never made sense for me. In journalism, on the ground experience and writing is the best training ground. But let me caveat that with—there are also a whole host of new media skills and a lot of technical things one can learn in journalism school. I kind of see it from both sides, but for me there never seemed to be a right moment to do it. There’s an opportunity cost to going back.

As a 20-Something author, you broke into the business of book publishing fairly early. What do you think it was that landed your proposal an agent, and subsequently a book deal?

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Apple was too rich. And everyone used Google and Amazon: it didn’t require much personality.

But at the turn of the 21st century, when today’s twentysomethings were making their “generational debut,” crossing over from college and into the real world, Facebook was both free and personal. Think Chris Andersen meets Bono (both, as it were, early investors).

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