On life-changing adolescent experiences

The Merrimack River / Image Credit: Francois Gossieaux

I was thirteen the first time I saw a dead body.

I do not mean in the sense that my mom walked me up to the casket in a flower-scented funeral home in my navy blue suit coat to say goodbye to my grandfather; Nor do I mean that my life was plagued by wakes and funerals beginning at an early age.

His name was Peter Briggs. He was a 47-year-old homeless man. …

Will Tom Izzo win title number two? (Alex Brandon/AP)

If I were a writer for CBS Sports or The Athletic, I could regal readers with post-game quotes or on-site observations (note to people at CBS Sports and The Athletic: Let’s roll for the fall 2019, huh?), but I’m not. I’m just a guy who plops down on the couch, opens a few beers, and watches game.

Basketball is a sport I feel like I know a little about. I’ve always liked to play. I like to watch. I enjoy the balletic movements of world-class athletes; I admire the geometry of the game, players finessing their way into the perfect…

This is a modified chapter from my book “Write Now!: The Guide to Making it in Freelance Writing.

We all have a reservoir of story ideas somewhere. Perhaps it’s housed in the Notes app on your phone; Maybe it is written in color-coded marker (“blue = most important”) on a small white board in the office. Regardless of where these ideas reside, the most gratifying feeling as a freelance writer is when the idea is fully fleshed out and ready to send along to an editor.

(Let’s face it: Some ideas aren’t very good. There’s no story. There’s no underlying…

Write Now!: The Guide to Making it in Freelance Writing is available on Amazon. (Photo: Matt Osgood)

Before I get started, I have to make two confessions.

First, I wrote my first book when I was 23. It was called Chasing Sunsets and I attempted to make sense of my year spent traveling around the country chasing love, adventure, and meaning. It was an audacious move, typical of a 23-year-old who believes that everything they’ve experienced meant something in the grander sense. I had life figured out. Why not share it with the world?

There are successes and failures in the book, which I recently picked up to look through as I was prepping the new book…

The row of bars, restaurants, and breweries on Pratt Street in downtown Hartford, Connecticut created little insulation from cold that was no doubt bolstered by the relentless gusts of wind channeling through the tiny, brick-paved street. Despite the cold, the spirits stayed as high as the expectations for that night’s games.

A few hundred people gathered to imbibe, play some games on the street, and watch basketball together on the first weekend of the Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament. The rest were scattered throughout the city and beyond to the other seven little college basketball stages placed sporadically around the country…

Who you got? (Detroit Free Press)

In soccer, a team is only as good as their worst player. In a game where a series of intricate movement, passing, and finding open spots on the pitch, one errant pass or one mishandle can destroy the continuity of an offense, rendering that particular advance ineffective. All it takes is one player. You can have the best player in the world on your team, but the weak link in the fencing can cause the whole foundation to collapse. Look at Argentina every World Cup.

In basketball, the opposite is mostly true. The team with the best player on the…

Being a writer/parent forces us to be productive on a schedule (photo: Matt Osgood)

Okay, you’ve gotta let me explain this one.

There’s something about the writing life as a person without marital commitments or children that’s especially freeing. You can create “when you feel the inspiration” or when some new muse flutters into our lives. There’s a staggering amount of flexibility in this. We can write … or not write. In our ever-malleable schedule, we’re allowed this type of freedom.

Like many writers, I’ve spent countless hours staring out a window preparing to write, having a cigarette outside to clear my mind and enjoy that special type of silence the fuels creativity (I’ve…

A once hopeful, but ultimately-doomed bracket (Sports Illustrated)

Federal inmate Tate George, former CEO of what was called The George Group, is currently in the second year of a nine-year prison sentence for his involvement in a Ponzi scheme. Prior to his involvement in defrauding unsuspecting clients, he was the 22nd pick of the NBA Draft by the New Jersey Nets and bounced around both the NBA and the Continental Basketball Association (where he won a title with the Quad City Thunder at the conclusion of the 1993–94 season) until he retired in 1997.

But George is probably more well-known for “The Shot.” With exactly one second remaining…

Virginia is atop the field, but will they still be there if Zion returns? (Amber Searls/USA Today)

It’s Championship Week! Some tickets have been punched, others will be joining them for certain this week. We’re going a day early this week, folks. Let’s go!

After North Carolina completed the season sweep of a Zion-less Duke, I could feel Duke fans getting defensive. In fact, I didn’t even need to feel it. Almost immediately, I got a tweet from a Duke fan friend arguing that Duke was a better team than Virginia. “They’ve beaten them twice,” he pleaded. I hadn’t even said or tweeted anything. It was like he knew what we were all thinking.

If they don’t…

No one will read your work if you don’t actually do it (photo: Matt Osgood)

When it comes to my life as a writer, there was an Old Me and there’s a New Me. The New Me was always kind of lurking around. I think this self lurks within all writers. I’ll explain.

We get into writing because that’s what we like to do. Whether it’s our job, if it’s something we do as a side-hustle to make money, or if writing is just a passion project that we hope ends in a novel (or a dozen), we begin writing because we like to write. We write because we’re good at it (or at least…

Matthew Osgood

Author of Write Now!: The Guide to Making it in Freelance Writing. Contact matthew.m.osgood at gmail

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