My first professional writing job came in high school, covering local sports for a small community paper. My editor at the time needed someone reliable to help fill the paper’s biggest section and he put his trust in a 16-year-old who at the time had yet to earn a byline in his high school paper. By the end of my time writing for the Potomac Almanac, I found myself filing game stories from three different state championships and delivering two cover stories.
In other words, this is something I’ve always done.
After I eventually earned some clips at my high school paper and served as editor of the Berkeley Beacon at Emerson College, I’ve hustled to call myself a professional writer and editor at every step of my career. That includes runs at music and art magazines in Boston, a stint at Discovery Channel Online, two years as a jack-of-all-trades for an award-winning book publisher and a summer covering the Olympics for America Online. The latter led to covering college and professional sports as a stringer for the Associated Press, sitting courtside or in the press box to report on deadline about the Washington Capitals, D.C. United, Washington Wizards, Howard University football, George Washington University men’s basketball and anything else they assigned.
Working as a stringer didn’t pay the bills, though. During the day I punched the clock for a government consulting firm serving the Department of Energy. What’s that mean? Basically, taking dense scientific material and rewriting and packaging it for a general audience. By applying the same principles I’d honed as a reporter—asking questions, doing research, fact-checking, then digging in to tell the most compelling story—I tried to make multimillion dollar remediation technologies sound as sexy as a Michael Jordan game-winning jumper. (This was, after all, during Air Jordan’s infamous D.C. days.)
In 2002, my wife and I moved to Montana, where I quickly grew a longer beard, fly-fished like Brad Pitt and wrestled grizzlies in my spare time. At least that’s what I tell my East Coast friends. In reality, I landed as the arts editor of Montana’s largest weekly paper and only true “alternative” weekly, the Missoula Independent. Writing three-to-five stories per week, working with freelancers and editing the entire “back of the book” put me at the center of Big Sky Country’s rich arts scene. The Indy‘s commitment to long-form journalism allowed the opportunity to do everything from spend time with the state’s only nudist group to stand in the huddle with the local semi-pro football team. I worked at the Indy for more than 12 years, eventually serving as editor-in-chief for more than eight years.
Today, I’m fortunate to work full time as the communications director for a national real estate firm. I continue to freelance for various publications, assist a few primary clients manage their corporate communication needs and pursue personal side projects, such as editing for the Society of American Baseball Research (SABR), and, following the 2015 release of my book, Montana Baseball History, talk hardball.
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