Barbara Sueko McGuire
I’m a writer. I’m particularly fond of profiles, but also have experience writing features and corporate copy.
I’m also an editor, and enjoy making other people’s stories better.
WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
I wrote, and then I wrote some more, and then I wrote even more. I’ve gotten good at what I do because I have always worked on my craft, from high school through college and all the way to graduate school. I’ve always been willing to learn from others and hone my craft regardless of whether or not I was getting paid for it. I’ve learned everything I have from hands-on experience.
FOR OTHER PEOPLE IN YOUR FIELD, WHAT DO THEY USUALLY LACK?
While I know I, myself, am lacking in plenty, I think sometimes writers forget they have a responsibility to inspire people to read. The first sentence of a piece is the most important, and it's always disappointing when I take the clickbait only to stop after the first graph of a story. I don’t like when writers insert themselves in an article unnecessarily, or when they don’t understand how to properly quote their interviewees and I can tell they’re putting words in their subjects’ mouths instead of letting them speak for themselves. Grammar is also a huge priority for me. A writer's words are a physical manifestation of themselves.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
I’m currently the features editor at Clementine Daily, and write profiles for them on different creative women. I’m also in the process of transitioning from the features editor of BUNCH Magazine to editor in chief, which is quite exciting. For BUNCH, I also write profiles on creatives, as well as the magazine’s cover stories.
Beyond these two outlets, I’m always pitching and writing profiles for a variety of other publications.
WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS?
My perspective is clear, concise and anecdote-driven pieces that compel the reader to continue moving forward. I like interviewing and writing about lesser known and unconventional creatives. People who are passionate about what they do, whatever it is, be it photography or sexual domination.
WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?
I wish I had more time to pitch and write about the multitudes of interesting people I encounter.
WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?
I don’t feel frustrated about much... At least that I'd air here. :) Like everyone, I sometimes wish I had more time in the day, but ultimately I’m pretty happy with my work-life balance.
IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?
Hahaha, nothing, really... maybe clean my apartment?
LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?
I wish I could’ve told myself in college to simmer down, that I didn’t need to get straight As, because no one has ever asked me what my GPA was when I’ve applied for a job.
IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
I would love to improve my interviewing skills. It’s a serious craft, and watching someone do it flawlessly is always jaw dropping.
WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
I’d love continued opportunities to really delve into an individual and get a glimpse at what the world looks like from his or her perspective. More chances to write stories that challenge my creative limits.
DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.
Being first a writer, and then an editor, at BUNCH Magazine has been the most wonderful experience. Growing with the magazine and being a part of an issue’s creation, from conception to publication, is the best feeling in the world. BUNCH brought my creative fire back to life after it had thoroughly been extinguished.
WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE?
It depends on every story. If I’m that drawn to the subject matter, there have been times when I’ve written for free. The experience is the reward. But obviously, I would rather be paid. My range is usually $150-$300.
HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?
Just shoot me an email, let’s get a coffee and chat!
HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?
Experience the world.
This member profile was originally published in June 2017.