Weekly Shocks' Blog



Simpler Times

First, permit me a small rant:

A few months ago, I developed a proverbial (and strictly metaphorical, may I add) set of testicles and subsequently began sending out pieces of my writing to various magazines. Now, most of these bits of drivel were summarily rejected, and quite rightly, too, because they sucked. Not to put too fine a point on it, but they did. Regardless. I’m ok with rejection. Some editors were actually very sweet and offered kind words of encouragement, even some helpful criticism. However, a few were vicious sadists who delivered the sharpest blow of them all: hope. “Rewrite this piece with our intensely limited specifications in mind, and we’d love to see it again,” they’d tell me.  And because I am a whore with apparently no respect for her own creative merit, I’d jumped through their narrow hoops and tortured my work to fit their inane visions. And it hurt a whole lot. And then I’d resend it. And then they’d reject it. Bastards. I could almost hear the malicious giggle in the tersely-worded emails I’d get. “Haha! Like you ever had a chance here! Looooooser!”

Oh, the things a writer will do for publication. Still, we must persevere.

Moving on. Who here has read Bill Bryson? If you haven’t, spank yourself a few times for your gross neglect, then get hoppin’. I’m currently working my way through his witty and engaging autobiography The Life and Times of The Thunderbolt Kid for the second time. Each of his chapters opens with a wry newsy bit from the 1950s. Dumb News and a slice of simpler times? Perfection. This one is my favorite:

EAST HAMPTON, CONN. (AP) – A search of Lake Pocotopaug for a reported drowning victim was called off here Tuesday when it was realized that one of the volunteers helping the search, Robert Hausman, 23, of East Hampton, was the person being sought.

– Des Moines Register, 20 September 1957

There’s a brilliantly witty story to be written here. Let’s see what I can do with it before some mindless editor tempts me to hack it to pieces.

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Comments

  1. * uninvoked says:

    The fact that they’re asking you to rewrite is a good sign though, so It means they believe in you, even if you’re not quite there yet. My first published piece had to be rewritten also, and I rejected one of the changes she wanted me to make with an explanation of why. She accepted my rejection of her rejection of my original draft…writing is complicated, isn’t it?

    Posted 7 years, 10 months ago
  2. * WeeklyShocks says:

    Thanks for the perspective! Yeah, writing is complicated but maddeningly addictive. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Posted 7 years, 10 months ago
  3. * Joe Raygor says:

    Yey, my local newspaper! Way to represent!

    Posted 7 years, 10 months ago


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