Being a classic car writer

A lot of people ask me how to become a writer – after all, it looks like a pretty idyllic existence.
Firstly, that certainly is not always the case! Yes, driving wonderful cars and then writing about it is a nice way to spend your time, but you have to learn to deal with terrifying deadlines and you have to deliver – you can’t push back a print slot.
The most important aspect is to have a love of the written word. If you don’t like reading, you probably won’t enjoy writing – and it’s no fun doing something you don’t enjoy.
Practice also helps. You can’t just decide you want to be a writer, drop an email to an editor and be published. The best thing you can do is write for car clubs. I wrote regularly in 2CVGB News before deciding I fancied this as a career. It’s great practice as it gets you used to working to deadlines, and you start to think about how the reader will interpret what you are writing.
Next, I’m afraid you’ll have to start buying magazines. Immerse yourself in their language and style. Look at what they publish – it’s no good sending a detailed history of the Subaru Vivio to a prestige classic car magazine – they simply won’t be interested.
You’ll also have to learn to deal with rejection. If you’re lucky, you’ll receive a “thanks but no thanks” though it’s also possible you’ll get no answer at all – editors are very busy people.
Another option is to look out for staff jobs. The pay will be rubbish but suddenly, all that writing you’ve done for club magazine will turn into a portfolio to show off your skills…
Good luck!

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