Really looking forward to everyone's questions! Don't be shy. Ask absolutely anything.
Well here’s a slightly off topic one. Is there a good way to turn working in a restaurant into making money as a speaker? I’m not much of a writer, public speaking is my jam. From the outside looking in it seems like there’s a whole other path to becoming a public figure in the wine world that’s far removed from selling wine on the floor. Whether that’s writing, speaking, consulting, etc.
feel free to proof this comment for grammar and spelling issues, lord knows it needs it
I've always been curious of how each of you got your start in writing for this industry. Was it mostly freelance work and publishing where you could; or, was there a company/group/etc that really provided a consistent outlet for your articles?
Hmm. Looks interesting.
Maybe offering some tips as to how being a wine writer and expert can attract a spouse with a proper, stable income could be helpful to anyone looking to get started...
What would you yourselves like to read about that you feel no one is writing about these days?
Any techniques you like to use to get into the right frame of mind for writing/research? Classical/Jazz music in the background, a glass of Riesling, a nip of Bourbon...
Is writer's block a thing? Are we merely waiting on bated breath for the next big story (lawsuit, chateau sale, etc...) or do we continue to rehash old topics with new words and infographics (Beaujolais is cool again... and again... and again...)?
Is it better to be a writer full-time, or just write the odd piece and keep your foot in the trade? On one hand, you will have a first-hand account of what it's like to be on the floor, in retail, etc... but if you write an critical piece that's not well-received you may find yourself out of a job, or at least with fewer friends, so you end up self-censoring.
Not a professional speaker here, but I can see someone making videos and putting them online, get enough viewers and check your inbox.
Related to this, I would love to know whether you all started while working full time at another job? Or did you do full time writing right off the bat?
Can this webinar be offered any other time than during this year's advanced course? I think I'll get in trouble if I have the webinar open on my laptop during the course...
Think back to when you were first starting out. What were some things that were profound or served as a "tipping point" in your writing career? What types of things propelled your career forward the most? Was it getting a mentor? Traveling somewhere? Taking a class? Working on your writing everyday? Writing an article that caught everyone's attention?
It will be recorded and anyone who signs up will be able to watch it later.
I'm interested in exploring the road to publication. What are different publishing paths for wine writers; which ones are the best ones? How does one obtain a mentor? I want out of the restaurant. Not jaded but I've done it to death (18 yrs) and I have a family that I would love to see sometimes.
When you choose your subject or topic for your piece how do you decide when you have dug deep enough within the subject to reach your conclusion? I find once I have taken the leap down the rabbit tunnel of a subject regarding wine I have a hard time of knowing when to stop because there are often so many variables. It seems that so many issues in this world can feel ever expansive.
Questions! I have more than I'll list here, but I suspect many of them will be answered in the webinar.
1. How exactly would you leverage a few magazine articles in a couple publications into more work in different (perhaps more widely circulated) publications? Is there a better recipe than endless self-promotion and outreach via social media?
2. What should a wine book proposal look like? What does that process look like?
3. If published, what's the spectrum of compensation: from Mike Trout's contract (i.e. beyond wildest dreams) to the Single A equivalent?
In hospitality, I'm part therapist, part private detective trying to ask the diner the right question to match the wines on my list to their particular needs. I consider this a challenging joy of my job.
My question to Kelli, Bryce, and Stacy would be how do you write about wine without knowing your audience? Each reader, even on the GuildSomm site, brings a different level of knowledge & experience. Are you burdened with demands to keep your written pieces interesting to all audiences? You don't want to "talk over someone's head" nor do you want to "talk down" to someone.
Also, do you find it difficult to write without bias? Have you ever disliked a wine, winery, region, winemaker, and/or winery owner but were asked to write something positive?