This seems to be an eternal question for people starting out in a creative career. The whole issue of "Should I work for free to establish a portfolio?' And if you're just starting out getting a body of work that shows your style, ability and talent can be very hard thing to achieve. As well as becoming know, you also need to pay the bills. And you know that deep down, while the gig is cool, you really should be getting paid. It's a tough one. NOTE - Before you read any further, let me … [Read more...] about Should You Work For Free to Get a Portfolio? 12 Years later…..
Neill on Writing
I write for a wide variety of clients. Long form, 2,500 word features for print magazines. Compelling sales copy that inspires website visitors to click through. Social media quotes to make you smile and share.
Here I share my views on the process of writing and how you can be a writer too.
This follows on from my article on starting out as a writer. If you haven't read it yet, it's probably worth reading that first. For many of us, reading can actually be the hard part. It takes a little discipline in our busy lives to choose something to read and then actually sit down and read it. The distraction of TV, family life, that social media feed of pinging notifications can all eat into your day and then, before you know it, the day is gone and you’re reaching over to flick out the … [Read more...] about Want to Write? Start Reading More
I hear from many people about how they wish they could write. It’s a declaration that always mystifies me. For me, I have a compulsion to. Even if nobody paid me to do it, I would still be there in front of that keyboard. For me, writing is playtime. So what makes you think that you cannot enjoy it too? With time on your hands because of the current world events, isn’t now the time for us all to dust off those things we wished we could become proficient at? Whether it’s because we aspire to … [Read more...] about Want to Write? I Hope This Helps
What are the most essential tools I use, every day, when producing and creative content? It's a question I am often asked, so here's my overview on what works for me and how you can save a lot of money if you're starting out blogging, shooting photographs or simply creating content for work or for fun. It doesn't have to cost you tens of thousands to create great content. EDIT - This is an updated blog post, written back in 2015 and reflects the changes to my work, to technology and also … [Read more...] about Ten Essential Tools I Can’t Live Without In Content Creation and One Reason Why They Won’t Help
Whether you aspire to be a better writer, or you simply enjoy reading a well written book, blog post or magazine feature, you will know that all writers have a style that develops over time. It’s ever evolving and it’s the thing that dictates whether you like a writer or not. So what makes a great writer stand out above their contemporaries and how can you be a better writer too? If you enjoy writing yourself and would like to get serious about it, I really would recommend reading more. … [Read more...] about Want to Write? Find Writers To Help Your Style
We’ve all had it. As a professional writer, sometimes I’m asked to write about topics that may not be the most enthralling. Most times, I write about things Im’ passionate about - both hates and loves. That passion inspires me when I open up the MacBook. Curing writer's block is not often a problem for me. I am lucky. Sometimes though, it just isn’t there. The clock is ticking, I have an editor, a client or simply myself to answer to, so simply making yet another coffee and strolling over to … [Read more...] about Curing Writer’s Block – How To Write When The White Screen Stares back
Creating great content can be hard. I have regular discussions with business owners who understand the value of blogging and online content marketing. They are enthusiastic about the value it can bring, but also cautious. Because the one thing everyone, without exception, says is "We will never find that many things to write about." Followed by "Nobody will want to read about us.” They worry that, a few weeks in, they will run out of content, subjects to write about, things to … [Read more...] about The One Content Marketing Idea That Nearly All Business Owners Miss
“How can you find so much to say about just one car?” It’s a question I’m frequently asked with regard to the Porsche 911, generally by people who are perhaps not the most diehard of Porsche enthusiasts. It is indeed a reasonable question to ask as, to the casual observer, Porsche 911s are all the same. Rather Germanic, still with the engine in the wrong place and for those with a love of curvaceous Italian cars, not particularly attractive with engines that have a gruff exhaust note and none … [Read more...] about Three Porsche Features, three utterly different 911 genres, one Porsche magazine
When people hear how I make a living, firstly they’re surprised at the diversity of it. Right after that they start asking questions. They’re often quite interested and then, in a well meaning way, say, “My pal has a great car / house / aircraft / insert as required. You should get it into a magazine.” I’m never, ever dismissive of these well meaning contacts. Very often the conversation leads to some fascinating introductions. But I have in place a little mental checklist I run as we chat … [Read more...] about The Top Five Factors I Use When Deciding on an Interesting Feature to Chase
Imagine Publishing is a successful digital and print publishing group based on the south coast of England. I regularly write and create features for their Porsche magazine, Total 911. But the Porsche title is just one their entire array of successful publications and in fact, the only automotive title that have. Their range of technology and lifestyle megabits is far greater and they are experts at the creation of 'Mag Books'. Earlier this year, Imagine contacted me create a series of … [Read more...] about The Drones Book and Writing About Those Unmanned Objects
It can sometimes be difficult creating fresh locations when writing about and photographing cars, especially the more collectable ones. Unlike Press Cars, who’s objective in life is ideally to be driven far and wide, written about and photographed as often as possible, all too frequently, owners of the rarer, collectable cars don’t want to travel too far away for photography. And that's perfectly understandable. As while they’re eager to have you drive the car to convey an accurate impression … [Read more...] about I Love It When A Plan Comes Together
This was a self assigned photo shoot and feature for Historic Racer. Sometimes, you don't have the time to wait around for a magazine editor to give the nod, you've just got to go and do it. My good friend McKenna was due to shake down this beautiful car at Blyton Park, one of our favourite tracks, so although I didn't have as much time with the car as i might have liked, it was an opportunity not to be missed. You can read the full feature over at Historic Racer, together with a very short … [Read more...] about Lola F5000 Rattles The Windows
A good friend of mine once said to me, "I'll talk to anyone for five minutes. You never know who you're going to meet and where it will lead. After five minutes, I can always excuse myself." He was a very successful businessman, blessed with the short attention span of a five year old child. But his comment stuck with me. It's true, you never know who you're going to meet in life and where it will lead. Little did I know that meeting Chris Garrett one day would get me started writing a blog … [Read more...] about The Day I Met Chris Garrett
As global online writing grows more prominent, as opposed to country-specific traditional print writing, I'm considering the important question of which language to write in and British American English differences, especially with regard to car writing. Before you all think I'm incredibly intelligent and multi-lingual, let me just stop you. I'm not. I can speak enough German to avoid being arrested and enough French to buy Mussels and white wine. For Italian, I just wave my arms around a … [Read more...] about British English or American? Have the Americans Won?
I've just finished reading a great PDF download by motoring writer Mel Nichols entitled "Literary and international influences in automotive journalism" He presented the paper last year at Cardiff University. It's available as a PDF download from this link. In it, Mel tells the timeline of his own career, from a student writer in Tazmania, all the way through to becoming editor of Car magazine and other very well known titles. It's around 19 pages of A9, so grab a coffee and read it, as he … [Read more...] about Great Motoring Journalism – What’s The Secret?