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That time I wanted to pass myself off as Joyce Carol Oates #TBT

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I submitted my first piece of writing when I was seventeen, a story about my first job, working at the employee cafeteria at General Telephone where my mother was a dispatcher. Rolling the 20# white bond backed by a sheet of thin blue carbon paper into my Smith Corona, I typed it out slowly, carefully, on a piece of erasable paper—and mailed it off to Cosmopolitan along with a cover letter. Not just to any editor at Cosmo, by the way, I sent it directly to Helen Gurley Brown. 

The piece itself, meant to be comical, was full of clumsy attempts at self-effacing humor.  I strived for a similar tone in the cover letter I addressed to Brown, completely clueless that the high powered editor in chief wasn’t the one reading unsolicited manuscripts. After I signed off I added the following PS. I could have said I was Joyce Carol Oates. What I thought that would accomplish I can’t imagine. That an unsatisfactory submission would get published because of a lame joke? 

No surprise, in the SASE I’d …

The Perfect Post ... A Brilliant Blog

Blogging along and feeling groovy when I'm suddenly struck with a nasty case of perfectionism.
Shouldn't blogging - like an old fashioned diary - be free-form, stream of conscious, loosey-goosey, yeah- that's what I'm talkin' about!? Yet I'm weighted down by some inate writer's tendency to hone and shape and craft and revise the hell out of any and all posts. Shitty first drafts, be gone! I log in, you know, just to see how this new little blog of mine is looking and before I know it I'm editing past posts, tweaking the type, picking at my profile like it's a bad sunburn starting to peel. And it's driving me mad. Help. Someone. I want to move on, I don't want to get blogged down in my own neurotic need to create the perfect post, the beginnings of a brilliant blog. Won't someone out there tell me what to do?!?!

Comments

  1. Anonymous12:19 AM

    I'm so proud, although this isn't your husband.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Forgive yourself. Revisions are *OK*. After all, this is a public medium, and you do want to present yourself to the public in as fine a light as possible. If your goal is impromptu stream of consciousness, that's fine, but that's not true of every weblog.

    ReplyDelete

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