Joining me this week is Jarrod Kimber. Jarrod is first and foremost a cricket writer, but has become somewhat of a polymath of Sports Media. He is a fantastic writer of features on a broad range of topics, as well as a talented novelist. In addition to his writing, he is a filmmaker, podcast host, commentator, analyst for teams, and my favorite – a course creator.
This incredible journey of creativity began in an unlikely way, with Jarrod dropping out of high school. He tried to further his studies through two higher learning courses, one he quit and the other he never passed. Following that, he took up jobs parking cars and working in call centers.
He came to prominence as the founder of a blog called “cricketwithballs”, building a fanbase attracted to his unique, edgy, hilariously funny writing. With the popularity of the blog, he got on the radar of ESPN, who signed him up as a writer for their cricket property, “Cricinfo”. From there, his career has taken off, and continues to flourish.
This is one of the most hilarious conversations I’ve had on the show. Jarrod has an incredible imagination and an extraordinary ability to tell stories. He doesn’t hold back in the way he responds to my questions and I found myself laughing through so many moments in this episode.
I also noticed a few really interesting similarities between the writing process that he teaches in his sports-writing course, that I apply as a writer, techniques that would be applicable no matter what you write. In addition to that – the beauty and power of his storytelling ability comes through so strongly in the stories he tells. This feels like a masterclass on the power of listening.
Please enjoy my conversation with Jarrod Kimber.
- Jarrod’s YouTube channel
- Jarrod’s Twitter
- Jarrod’s Podcasts
- Jarrod’s Sports Writing Course
- Jarrod’s Linktree
- Jarrod’s news and editorials at ESPNCricinfo
- The Giant Lizard Theory
- Shahid Afridi of Kansas
- Jarrod discusses how sports affects the lives of people. We unpack how it can create safe environments, teaching us valuable lessons about winning and losing. Interrogating sports as a way of bringing people together. (00:02:59-00:07:33)
- The absence of sports during the pandemic, and the effect thereof. More on the psychological attachments people create with their favourite teams or athletes. (00:07:34-00:09:07)
- Sports as an infinite story. The differing narratives of players, teams and strategies. How the interplay between all these aspects never ends. (00:09:08-00:15:37)
- How to remember stories. (00:15:42-00:17:10)
- Physical writing Vs. Digital Writing. (00:17:11-00:18:10)
- The power of a unique mind. How Jarrod’s curiosity and early experiences taught him to find ideas. (00:18:11-00:21:47)
- How to process and systemically work through ideas when creating a piece of writing. (00:21:48-00:23:24)
- Jarrod talks about a current piece he is working on – a discussion on New Zealand’s opening batters. (00:23:25-00:28:15)
- The Giant Lizard Theory. (00:28:16-00:30:47)
- Thoughts on entertainment – how to integrate it into your writing, and how it keeps the audience engaged with your narrative. (00:30:48-00:32:16)
- Jarrod shares his passion for writing, and what made him decide to commit to a life as a writer. (00:32:17-00:33:38)
- Knowing from a young age that you want to be a writer. Reflections on Jarrod’s early experience in school and life with his family. (00:33:39-00:36:20)
- Being a blogger, and the important lessons learned. (00:36:21-00:39:12)
- The necessity of a strong support system when pursuing your dreams. How doing what you love creates a life that excites you. (00:39:13-00:45:21)
- Navigating relationships with players, as a sports writer. (00:45:22-00:51:30)
- How writing styles and the writer’s personality influence the type of sports stories being written. (00:51:31-00:55:47)
- Jarrod’s influences and the inspiration behind his writing. Gonzo journalism. (00:56:08-1:04:35)
- One-word-answer questions for Jarrod. (1:04:47-1:06:17)
- Jarrod passionately discusses his favorite piece he’s ever written, “The Shahid Afridi of Kansas”. (1:06:25-1:21:07)
- Places to find Jarrod and his perspective on cricket and the general world of sports. (1:21:45-1:22:56)
Selected Links from the Episode
- Benny Howell
- Mark Richardson
- Gideon Haigh
- Wright Thompson
- Mike Selvey
- Cate McGregor
- Tom Wolfe
- Hunter S. Thompson
- Hal Ashby
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