In 2016, I wrote a lot about fashion. For someone who was upset that he could no longer wear Champion sweatpants every day when he entered high school, this was an unlikely turn. Part of this move was practical: the editors at Racked are lovely, and I’d encourage any writer to stop reading this silly thing and pitch them. I also liked the tangible nature of writing about clothing and clothing-adjacent. While this sounds like some twee Brooklyn bullshit, which it most certainly is, I found something compelling about investigating small brands, talking to owners about supply chains, direct-to-consumer business models, fabric sourcing, etc. It’s an entire industry that’s being reshaped in real-time, and, at the very least, it’s much more interesting than another fucking app.
There was also a lot of soccer. Halfway through the year, I realized, or, perhaps, finally admitted, that writing about the sport comes more easily and is better than much of my other work. I’ve managed to learn some things over the past decade. I still have no desire to write about soccer full time, the media world being an insular and strange place, but I focused on it more with at least some success.
That decision simplified my freelance life. As much as I enjoy one-off features about artists in New York and email newsletters or profiling the owner of a new NHL franchise — and I do, even the newsletter piece — it’s exhausting to find those stories, then learn enough about their disparate subjects to begin to ask smart questions. The fun of freelancing is that you can, if you want, find a reason to learn about anything; that’s also the hard part. So, soccer, which isn’t a bad compromise at all.
At this time last year, I said I would say no more in 2016. I did, although still not enough. A work in progress. I’m also going to try to say yes to the right things. Over the last 12 months, I probably spent too much time drinking — coffee and otherwise — and too much time reading. Given everything else, I’m okay with both of these indulgences. There are always more words.