This month I stayed in Europe, first traveling to the Netherlands on two separate occasions and then heading to the U.K. I promptly saw the Queen just a few hours after landing in London because my friend Veronica and I just happened to be attending a conference right across the street from Westminster Abbey. The Queen's outfit (a bright yellow coat and matching hat) definitely didn't disappoint.
Right now, I'm writing this from the plane heading back to Belgium from Iceland where I just spent several days exploring the country's crazy geography and eating lots of outstanding food. An intense hike through the snow and up into an ice cave actually cured a nagging foot injury.
I also have plans for the month of April, including trips to Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia, and France. I don't post all my photos on Facebook, so it's best to follow along on Instagram. What I'm writing:
The modern architecture in Rotterdam, the second city of the Netherlands, is practically the opposite of what you'll find in Amsterdam. This was the theme of my weekend guide for New York Magazine.
Ok, so I haven't actually read this book, but I've heard the author talk on enough podcasts to understand the basic premise ofDeep Work. Cal Newport recommends blocking off chunks of time (usually 2-4 hours) to focus on a single project and completely eliminate distractions like social media, email, and phone calls. I've been doing this almost every afternoon and use browser extensions like Block Site to block distracting websites and Inbox Pause to halt my email. I also put my phone in another room. Maybe soon I'll take up his other recommendation-- giving up social media entirely (not likely). Getting real about writing:
Question: How do you find the right editor to contact to pitch a story?
Answer: Lots of googling or Twitter searching. I'm a big proponent of the cold pitch (reaching out to an editor you don't know personally), and I find email addresses by scouring the internet for contacts. I tend to target an associate or assistant editor instead of someone higher in the hierarchy. The masthead of the print magazine is also a good place to start, as many of them now list the digital editors. A simple Google search can also yield results sometimes, but it's good to check any information against Twitter because that's usually the most up-to-date. After finding a name, I figure out the pattern of the company of publisher's email convention and send my pitch.
But finding an email is just the beginning. The most important step is actually crafting the pitch, which should always be tailored to the specific section of a magazine or website. Links for writers: