When I launched “A Day in the Life” almost exactly one year ago, I never expected to be doing one.
I get so many inquiries about what this job entails, I thought it was time. I have been writing and editing professionally for over twenty years now, but music journalism is its own sweaty, savage beast. I try to make it tamer and less feral, but you can’t change something’s inherent DNA. And truly, you might not want to. Rock ‘n roll is supposed to be wild to a certain degree, don’t you think?
I thought it might be enlightening for readers to see what the life of a SPIN editor is really like. First things first: Forget what you’ve seen in the movies. Also, this isn’t the ‘70s and none of us are the late, great Lester Bangs. While I’m sure there are still music journalists that adhere to that lifestyle, I truly and honestly don’t know how those like us—with loads of pieces to write and edit each week—would get anything accomplished constantly traveling and partying with the band. Every day I wake up to dozens upon dozens of press releases and requests for features. While digital media has allowed for more space for stories, there will never be enough for all the incredible talent in the world.
Want to do what we do? Be prepared to work a lot. Like…all the time. You live for your job.
Pretty Good Year: My Top Stories of 2022
In addition to assigning and writing many features each month, I am currently responsible for conceiving and managing four ongoing SPIN series—“A Day in the Life,” “On the Record,” “READ ME” (all about books!), and “5 Albums I Can’t Live Without,” which, since launched in March 2021 has become one of SPIN’s most popular. I designed all of my ongoing features as a way to get more talent—from new to legacy—in front of readers. I also run an Insta Live series where I casually chat with some of your favorites (follow @spinmag for updates).
Affectionately dubbed “DITL” by the SPIN team, this one is the perfect introduction and re-introduction on a more personal level. It’s a way for artists to be seen and heard as people, not just for their releases and tour dates (though, that’s all important, too). In my mind, everyone deserves to be seen and heard. Artists and writers and editors, alike.
As I did last year with the “5 Albums” feature, this DITL is the first in a behind-the-scenes series of getting to know us here at SPIN a little bit better.
Date December 25, 2021
Time I woke up 6:45 a.m. This is late for me, but it’s a holiday, so I went wild and slept in.
Every day starts with Taking my dog Alfie out. Then meditation and self-Reiki before I dive into work-email abyss. Because it’s a holiday weekend, I don’t have a lot of new emails, but I generally use Saturday and Sunday to sift through, read releases and prep for the week ahead. I average about 50 – 100 new emails every day.
Breakfast consists of An easy cleanse every morning. Today, it’s simply water with lemon.
To get going I always Use the phrase “I get to [fill in the blank]” before approaching tasks that might seem a little bit daunting.
I don’t feel dressed without I have been collecting hats since childhood, and it’s generally the finishing touch for me, no matter what I’m wearing. I’m a huge fan of wearing your favorite clothes at home for you and only you, if that’s your thing. It’s definitely my thing.
Before I start working I must Make a to-do list. The day is so wild, organization is a must. I start by sifting through any pressing issues and deadline-driven correspondence.
That said, my days are dictated by the deadlines and work I do during the day. I generally work about 8 – 12 hours a day. I admit I’m consistently striving for balance, and working on making healthier habits.
Currently working on A very secret personal project (ssshhhh!).
But I’d really love to be I love what I’m doing, but I’d also really love doing it on a Caribbean beach.
Book I’m reading I just started Memorial Drive by Natasha Trethewey and wish I didn’t wait so long. It’s tough to read while writing so much for work, which is one of the reasons I love audiobooks. I read all of the books for my READ ME column, which is such a joy and privilege.
I don’t know how anyone ever Denies that we are all in this together.
If I had to play one album on repeat, it would be What on earth was I thinking when I wrote this question??? It’s too hard to choose! Kudos (and apologies) to all the artists who have answered this question.
The perfect midday consists of Crossing off some important tasks and stepping out into the sunshine.
To help get through the day I need My dog reminding me to slow down and play a little bit.
Not a day goes by without speaking to Alfie. Are you even remotely sane if you’re not speaking to your dog all day?
My daydreams consist of Finishing my work so far in advance that I have time for daydreaming.
In a perfect day, in a perfect world All the animals would have loving homes.
I’ll always fight for The underdog.
Currently in love with The new paradigm. I’m also very much in love with the family of deer that currently live on my property.
Hoping to make time to watch I’m addicted to learning, and every year sign up for more digital media courses than I can realistically take—from SEO to social media to storytelling—because the world of online media changes by the minute and I don’t want to be left out.
But at this very moment, I’m actively watching all the comments posting in response to my latest op-ed endorsing Sinead O’Connor as the next inductee in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It’s quite a show 🙂
By my bedside I always have Water and my phone (trying to break away from the phone…it’s a process.)
To help get through the night I try not to think about all the work I have the next day.
Bedtime As early as possible. I like being up with the sun.
When I think about tomorrow, it’s always “A new day will dawn for those who stand long…and the forests will echo with laughter.”
If you have suggestions for features, please feel free to send me a message via my website at lizalentini.com.