Review: New Barnes & Noble Nook Is Better In Every Way (COMPLEX)

Expanding Your Range As A Writer

What’s up, guys?

I’ve had some new work published recently, and I wanted to share it with you all. Today’s post will feature work I’m doing outside of my regular comfort zone of hip-hop. I’m glad my editors are trusting me with the task of covering other things, and I think the articles have turned out very well.

I wouldn’t say that it’s an absolute necessity to cover things outside of your usual beat, but I think it can be a fulfilling experience. Doing the same work repeatedly can get boring once in a while, and venturing elsewhere can give you a new challenge to help keep your skills sharp. I can also say that personally, I feel very accomplished when I hit a story out of the park that I’m not well-trained in.

When I was preparing for my interview with Annie Ilonzeh for VIBE several months ago, something weird happened: I got nervous. After seven years of writing, speaking with legendary artists and seeing my work grace pages of magazines I grew up reading, I don’t get the jitters very often. But this was different. I hadn’t done much writing about film or TV, and Annie wasn’t someone I was already familiar with (her most notable role was on General Hospital, which I didn’t watch). I remember scrambling the ‘Net looking for clips of her work, previous interviews, and anything else I could find. It reminded me of 2004, when I was assigned an interview with Drag-On – my very first interview with a rapper I had seen on TV. I went to a record store (quite possibly Sam Goody, ha) and purchased the album, listened to every single one of his cameo verses,  and dug into his past as much as possible. That hunger resurfaced with this story on Annie Ilonzeh, and the story benefited because of it.

The most difficult part may be finding clients that will give you the chance to spread your wings on coverage that you haven’t done before, because no one wants to be a guinea pig. Build your relationships with publications you regularly contribute to by proving dependability, and pitch new ideas to your editors to show them that you’re looking to expand. Even if they don’t accept your submissions, they’ll see the tenacity and they may honor that by giving you a shot at writing about something new. If all else fails? Cover something different for your own blog and see how it turns out. If it’s good, push the link and use it as evidence to show that you’re capable.

Follow the jump to see articles that I’ve done for VIBE, Black Enterprise and COMPLEX that have given me the opportunity to stretch my legs.

The most recent article outside of my usual work is the aforementioned piece in the new issue of VIBE magazine, that features Kelly Rowland and Amy Winehouse on its covers. In lieu of her role on the new ABC reincarnation of the storied Charlie’s Angels franchise, I had a conversation with the gorgeous Annie Ilonzeh for the magazine’s Initiation department. I hadn’t interviewed many people in the realm of film or TV before this year, but since getting these assignments from VIBE, I’ve hit the ground running.

Click HERE to read the full article.


(photo: SuccessMagazine.com)

Earlier this month, Black Enterprise asked me to dig into the business world of comedian/author/radio personality Steve Harvey to decode his financial influence. Not my usual niche, but it was fun to research!

Click HERE to see what I found.

I’ve always been really big on technology, but I didn’t start covering technology seriously until I started getting assignments from COMPLEX this year. My breakdown of the Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch eReader is my first tech product review for an outside publication, and I’m still excited that I got the opportunity.

Click HERE to see why I love the device so much.