On April 3, I had the privilege of interviewing Will Elliot, a freelance outdoor writer who writes for The Buffalo News when he’s not fishing or hunting.
Elliott has worked at The Buffalo News since 1985. Sixty to seventy percent of his writing consists of fishing while the other thirty to forty percent consists of hunting. According to Elliot, people are more into the written word about the sport of hunting although not much of his writing includes hunting.
As a freelance writer, Elliott is hired to work four to six hours per week. His task is to write about fishing updates and where the fish are biting. Even though he’s hired to work four to six hours, he works well over that. According to Elliott, he sits at his computer for 15 to 20 hours completing 3,000 to 3,500 words a week/five columns a week.
What got Elliott into outdoor writing? He was interested since he was a young boy who went fishing and hunting. He also said when he was a kid he started taking notes when his friends caught fish. Then, he later became a staff writer for The Courier in his teens.
When I asked Elliott what his favorite story was, he couldn’t come up with one. He did mention that some of his most memorable pieces were based on his experiences and hunts in Africa the past few times he’s visited with his wife.
“They were more fun rather than great writing, it was more of friendly letter writing and more personable,” said Elliott.
When Elliott isn’t reporting on fishing or hunting, he’s constantly thinking about what to write about next. He said he’s always thinking, listening to what people say, listening to things on the radio and he takes every chance he can based on what he sees or hears.
One of Elliott’s favorite kind of stories to write are competition winners, as he mentioned one about a young girl who won a hunting competition from the squirrels she shot this past hunting season.
“There are colorful people no matter what,” said Elliott.
Elliott mentioned that there is always something to write about.
“There’s a novel on every tombstone that didn’t get written,” said Elliott.
“I love what I do and I’ll die doing it. It goes beyond like and love,” said Elliott.