Will Write for Free (would love to write for cash).
March 24, 2010 10:42 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone have any advice on how I can turn my two driving passions— writing and orchestral film music—into a vocation?

Asking for a friend:

I have two driving passions: writing and orchestral film music. I contribute to Film Score Monthly Online (for free), reviewing soundtracks, writing feature articles on related topics, and interviewing film composers (like Marvin Hamlisch and Alexandre Desplat). I have especially come to love the art of interviewing.

It doesn’t hurt that the subject is endlessly fascinating to me, and that these people are, in many ways, my idols.

I would love to make a living writing about film music—talking to composers, analyzing the music, or somehow employing my writing skills to explore this rich art and the people who create it.

I’m not aware of any paying positions that would enable me to do this. There are some (small) paid freelance opportunities out there, but nothing that would qualify as a full-time job.

Does anyone have any advice on how I can turn this obsession into a vocation?
posted by unclejeffy to Work & Money (3 answers total)
I would ask people who sell writings on film music. In person, if possible.

It strikes me that your work might be more appealing to audiences that don't speak English, so you might be dealing with international publishing houses.

That's something to do on the side though, while you actually write what you're passionate about. It would suck to do all that research and have people asking, "where is this work you speak of? Can I see it? etc." So I would keep your writing passionate and current.
posted by circular at 10:57 AM on March 24, 2010

Oh, and in terms of tracking people down, you might call some academics who do research in the field, and ask who the respected writers are, and what the respected publications are. Then see if you can talk to those people/organizations.

Like, maybe start with someone like this guy. He seems pretty passionate.
posted by circular at 11:01 AM on March 24, 2010

Find a quirky angle, write up a book proposal, and start pitching it to agents and publishing houses.

The non-fiction market is one of the strongest in the publishing industry* and the public's appetite for intelligent, funny, and quirky non-fiction books is almost endless. Look at what Julie Powell did for lousy cooking skills, what Mary Roach did for dead bodies, or what Michael Pollan did for "eat your vegetables"!

Another tactic is to take that quirky angle, scale it down to magazine size, and start pitching it to various mainstream magazines like Harpers or Atlantic Monthly. If it sells and does well, you can later work it up into book form. Many non-fiction authors have taken this route. (Michael Pollan built his reputation based on a series of articles in the New Yorker, Harpers, etc.)

* I realize this is faint praise.
posted by ErikaB at 11:28 AM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

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