This is the first of three articles on ski journalism I've got coming down the chute. Next up is a piece on the more technical aspects of creating content and an article on the bigger picture of ski journalism/marketing/storytelling to wrap it all up. Let me know what you think in the comments. Tell me why I'm wrong, why I'm stupid or what I should write about next time, this community feedback is what makes newschoolers awesome.
This is a random picture of skiing to (hopefully) keep your interest.
The world of content creation is full of excuses. "I would be a great photographer, but cameras are too expensive." "I would make great edits but all my athletes suck." "I would be a pro skier but my park is too small." The one medium that harbors no excuse is writing. All it takes to tell a story is a computer and a person. If you are looking at this post right now you have the means to write.
Maybe you want to be a journalist, maybe your goal is to write for a ski mag, maybe you're just a skier that has something worthwhile to say, regardless, now is the the time to stop thinking and start writing. What's the worst that could happen? A few people on the internet read something you've made and go on with their lives? That's a light price to pay for failure. Chances are you'll learn, grow and gain experience and encouragement that you never imagined.
Something I've learned recently is that the self effacing "I'm not good enough" is really a form of pride. This attitude is focused on yourself and carries as much ego as the braggart who claims to be the best. Get over yourself and tell your story. It doesn't need to be some epic saga of deep pow and first ascents, it doesn't need to be technical event coverage of big name pros. We want to hear your stories.
Too often we get locked into the status quo, we look at the magazines, at the traditional media and decide that all anyone cares about are contrived pro interviews, trip reports with pros and big time pro event coverage. Sure, that stuff is awesome and has its place but it's not the be-all end-all of ski journalism. Is that stuff what skiing is really all about? Do we only care what the big names are doing and feeling? No, of course not. No matter how backwoods and unheard of you are, you have a story about skiing that is worth telling and will resonate with other skiers. Newschoolers gives you an audience of likeminded people who will read, interact with, compliment and critique your work.
Think outside the box, be creative in what you write about, just look at around the site, it's oozing with creative storytellers who simply wrote about what mattered to them:
pegerteg writes about inbounds edits:
tbayskier writes about his home mountain:
Erica interviews ski dogs:
Krotch writes about random stuff:
pho[tog]rapher writes about the mainstream-ization of skiing:
(side note, if you are reading this, please write more and put them on NS, we need this perspective)
engerbretson writes about being a creative professional:
(heck this one's not even about skiing and it still got an awesome response)
NSwidow writes about people:
theabortionator writes about working park crew:
(sorry if I missed your article in this list, you all are killing it with too many pieces to include)
More random skiing
You have a story to tell. Maybe it involves your friends, maybe your mountain is planning to expand their park, maybe they are tearing out their park, maybe you met a pro and learned something, maybe you went to a rail jam and had a great time, regardless you are surrounded by stories that we want to hear. Stop taking your cues from traditional media and start writing about what matters to you.
With the exception of NSwidow's piece on the Humans of SIA none of these articles have anything to do with epic trips, huge comps or big name pros. What they do offer is an honest, interesting take on skiing that the ski community can benefit from and identify with. They tell true stories about skiing and that's what gives them their value. You view and experience skiing in a totally unique way and chances are that perspective is worth sharing. That's the magic of newschoolers, you don't need to pitch your stories to some editor whose main concern is ad revenue. You don't need to satisfy sponsors and athletes. We all have stories that need to be told, get over yourself, stop making excuses and start getting them out there.