Jeff O’Connell, editor-in-chief of Bodybuilding.com, has had an illustrious career in fitness journalism. Starting off as a staff writer at Muscle & Fitness, O’Connell eventually worked his way up to EIC. He also served as executive writer at Men’s Health, has co-written a New York Times best-selling workout book with LL Cool J, and penned his own title, Sugar Nation, in 2011.
In our latest So What Do You Do column, O’Connell talks about the inauspicious start to his career, how he finds his most fascinating human-interest stories and his advice on interviewing celebrities:
So much of it is making the other person comfortable, especially if you do a celebrity interview. They’re so on guard, they’re so wary to begin with. I’m a very laid-back person, so I think that helps me, because sometimes people relax when they’re with me… whereas if you’re kind of intense and aggressive, they tend to recoil from that. Something that I thought would be a liability when I got into this business, which was being kind of shy and quiet and a listener, in many ways has actually helped me along the way. Don’t assume what you think are your weaknesses won’t help you at some point.
For more from O’Connell, including his best writing and editing tips, read: So What Do You Do, Jeff O’Connell, Award-Winning Writer And Editor-In-Chief of Bodybuilding.com?