From wannabe rockstar to successful writer

Interesting piece on how author Andy Ferguson (Crazy U, Land of Lincoln)  ended up writing political journalism:

Andy Ferguson never wanted to be a writer.

Not when he was growing up outside Chicago. His dream was to be a rock star.

“I wanted to be one of the Beatles,” Ferguson said. “Then it turned out they weren’t hiring, and I wanted to be a first baseman for the White Sox.”

Since he couldn’t do either of those he tried fiction but that failed as well eventually leading him to Washington, DC by way of Bloomington, Indiana:

Ferguson planned to write the Great American Novel. He was living in an adobe shack in Albuquerque, N.M., and continually sent pieces of novels and short stories to magazine editors.

“I think they had some kind of automatic system where the minute my envelope came in the office it just flung out a rejection letter,” he said. “So I was papering this little shack I was living in with rejection letters from The Atlantic and New Yorker and The Hudson Review.”

Ferguson came to the conclusion that if he were going to write, he would have to get involved with print journalism. So he moved to Bloomington, Ind. to attend the journalism school at the University of Indiana. At the time, Bloomington was the home of the editor of The American Spectator. Ferguson met him, struck up a friendship, and soon went to work for the magazine. When the publication picked up and moved to Washington, D.C., Ferguson followed.

“So suddenly from my little adobe hut in Albuquerque I found myself right in the middle of Washington journalism,” he said. “It was quite a thrill.”

Seems few writers take an easy path …

Kevin Holtsberry
I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season).

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