Monday, July 14, 2008

5 Questions With A Sports Writer

I was recently acquainted with Lyndsey D’Arcangelo, writer of Girls Dig Sports. I was quite excited to meet her and am now convinced that I have a long-lost sibling (or at least a like-minded colleague)! Lyndsey’s blog covers just about every sport and she often opens with what she recently heard on sports radio that day. I knew I couldn’t be the only one! Lyndsey was kind enough to stop and be my guest for today’s questions:

1. How long would you say you've been an avid sports fan? Is this something that started in childhood? Where do you think this love for sport began? What are your favorite sports to follow?

I've been a sports fan for as long as I can remember. I grew up with two brothers so we were always playing some kind of sport. I started soccer when I was 5 and my love of other sports grew from there.

I think my love of sports was innate. I love to play, compete and push myself. I don't ever remember wondering why. It's just the way I am.

I’m a frequent watcher of ESPN. I catch Pardon the Interruption with Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon whenever I get home from work in time. I read the sports page of the Buffalo News and browse when I can. I listen to ESPN radio and light up when I hear a woman call in because I know I’m not the only woman listening. I live, breathe, play, and watch sports so much that my entire year is segmented in my mind according to professional sports schedules. I try, if I can, to plan activities around playoff games. I even associate seasons with a particular sport. Every fall, I gear up for football. During those long, cozy winter days I watch a mix of hockey, basketball, and football. And once spring hits, I can smell the NCAA tournament coming. Summer is reserved for watching hockey and basketball playoffs, and the occasional soccer game or tennis match. And that’s my year in a nutshell. That’s the mind of woman who loves sports.

2. What sports have you participated in throughout your life? What organized sports have you been involved with? What do you continue to play today? Which are your favorite sports to participate in?

I've played soccer, softball, football, basketball and volleyball. I also skied, ran a half marathon, rollerbladed, and mountain biked.

(Organized) Mostly basketball and soccer. I even coached basketball for a year at the college level.

As a 30-year-old, I continue to run, walk, rollerblade, ski, mountain bike and play organized basketball and soccer. I also take Tae Kwon-Do. But basketball is my first love and favorite sport of all.

3. How did you become involved in writing about sports? What sites/publications have you/do you write for? Is sports writing a hobby, a job, or a dream for you? (or maybe all three?) What qualifications/education do you have for writing in general?

One of my first writing jobs was a reporter for a small weekly paper near Buffalo, NY. I covered high school sports in the area and I loved it.

I was recently asked to help out with high school sports for the Buffalo News and was also recently asked to write a blog called Girls Dig Sports for B5 Media (a blogging network based out of Toronto, Canada). I jumped at the chance because I wanted to give other women like myself a forum to discuss sports without feeling intimidated or as though they had to prove themselves.

Sports writing for me is like all the writing I do — it's incredibly fulfilling. I love to write and I was meant to write, so being able to do it for a career is a dream come true. I never wanted to pigeon hole myself into one category of writing so I do it all — I'm a freelance copywriter, journalist, novelist, poet, creative writer, and blogger.

I've been writing my entire life and have attended numerous writing camps when I was growing up. I graduated from Randolph-Macon College with a degree in English/Creative Writing. I started my own freelancing business in 2006 and showcase my writing on I have experience in advertising, journalism, higher education, and the creative writing world. I've also had two short stories published in national publications.

4. What is the most challenging thing for you about writing for a sports-themed blog? Do you often experience burnout, writer's block, or plain lack of motivation?

I guess it would be deciding which sport to write about. There are so many topics and stories to cover every day that I can't cover everything. My blog is dedicated to all sports, so I have a wide variety of topics to choose from.

(On burnout) Not really. I know myself pretty well by now and I know that if I'm not in a "writing mood" then I just won't write. I don't like to try and force it, so if I'm not feeling the creative juices flowing then I'll just do something else. But this happens very rarely, especially because at this point in my career I have my hands in so many different aspects of writing that I never get bored.

5. What would you tell young people that aspire to become sports writers? What sort of advice would you give them?

To be good at sports writing you must have two things: you must love sports and you must love to write. That's all it takes. As for advice, I'd tell them to never stop writing. Write often and explore all the options available for writers. Don’t limit yourself to just print - there's television, radio, the Internet, and more. Keep your options open and be willing to learn and grow.


EboRâguebi said...

My name is Luis!
And you, as you called?
I can deal with you?
I also have a "space"!
Want to meet with him?
Anda then


Apryl DeLancey said...

Hi Luis - thank your for coming to my blog. I see you have rugby on yours, very nice! We can trade links for sure.

Lindsay said...

Nice interview. I have a degree in journalism and I like Lyndsey's advice not to limit yourself to just print. I am also excited to hear she is a successful freelance writer.

Apryl DeLancey said...

Yeah, great advice - I totally believe that there is more than one way to do something so why limit yourself!

Monica 08 said...

Interesting interview about the person behind the 'GirlsDigSports' blog.

I'd watch more ESPN if they had more TV shows about European soccer like ESPN deportes' 'Fuera de Juego' or include it more in 'Sportcenter.'

Apryl DeLancey said...

I know what you mean, Monica. For soccer I watch Fox Soccer Channel or GolTV and some of the Spanish language channels that I get with DirecTV. I'm not a native speaker but get my soccer fill and understand "GOOOOOOL!"