How’s 2011 going?
The year kicked off with a lot of writing for me. Don’t think I don’t feel guilty about putting the blog on hiatus. Here’s what I did instead…
Woke up and checked a website to see if they ran the story I wrote for them, which had now peaked in relevance. (It was about New Year’s Eve).
A few minutes later, got an email explanation of “Oops. Forgot to run that. Feel free to publish elsewhere.” Grrr.
But, that’s alright! I’d previously pitched what is basically the same story in a different style and voice to New York Press. I emailed the completed draft to the editor and hoped this version wouldn’t get rejected, too.
Went to Hunch and wrote about men’s underwear all day long.
Nerve accepted two of my pitches, so I went about getting ready to ask strangers for sex and dating advice. (It gets easier the more you do it. I could get flirting tips from a dead guy at this point).
My Hunch blog post for today is all about Santa.
I think he’s creepy as hell, and I’m not alone.
What do you think? Gimme some comment love at Hunch please.
And ho ho ho.
One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?
There are many synonyms for the general feeling I’ve had in 2010. But turmoil is a bit strong. Upheaval is putting it lightly. Some choice phrases are too long.
So I choose trial.
Blogging every day is the easiest sort of hard, the easiest thing to not want to do when I get home.
Skydiving was nothing like I expected, and I’m hoping to have more pictures from someone in the group before I write the official “I didn’t shit my pants” post.
Yep, didn’t shit my pants. Thank you very much.
I haven’t come right out and blogged it, but I’m doing some work at Hunch these days. It’s a smart, fun start-up engineered by computer geniuses from MIT and other very smart people who will kick your ass at chess. It’s kind of hard to explain, but here’s the official description:
Hunch’s ambitious mission is to build a “taste graph” of the entire web, connecting every person on the web with their affinity for anything, from books to electronic gadgets to fashion or vacation spots. Hunch is at the forefront of combining algorithmic machine learning with user-curated content, with the goal of providing better recommendations for everyone.
Hunch provides personalized recommendations on tens of thousands of topics on Hunch.com and is now partnering with other companies to power custom recommendations on 3rd-party sites and applications.
Here’s the thing about getting your writing published: You can read about other writers’ experiences until you think you know what you’re getting into, but no one prepares you for how often you won’t get published.
So I’ll reiterate. Aspiring writers, you’re going to write a lot of pieces that will be read by no one but yourself and maybe one editor who didn’t like what you wrote enough to accept it. If he or she reads it at all. I’m not a writer who’s “made it” by any means, and I can tell you that.
I have a piece on Conan O’Brien due tomorrow morning, so I don’t have much time to blog.
The good thing about deadlines is that you have to write. Speaking of which, here’s the origin of that compound word that haunts just about everyone:
The word deadline first appeared as an American coinage that referred to the line around a military prison beyond which soldiers were authorized to shoot escaping prisoners. According to Lossing’s History of the Civil War (1868): “Seventeen feet from the inner stockade was the ‘dead-line’, over which no man could pass and live.” This use is also found in Congressional records as early as 1864: “The ‘dead line’, beyond which the prisoners are not allowed to pass.” The citations for this use dry up at the end of the 19th century.
And if you regularly sit in front of a keyboard for hours at a time to read about other people’s lives, you know that November means NaNoWriMo or NaBloPoMo. I don’t think the tasks are equal – without a doubt, it’s easier to blog every day for a month.
Novels are another beast. I’ve tried to start them. Within three chapters, I’m tired of my plot, my characters, and words in general. A daily blog post is easier. It’s like a highly modified girl push-up. A gummy vitamin. An open-book exam.
You know something good has happened when someone other than your mom is reaching out to see if you’re dead, survived only by one neglected blog.
Here’s a question from Kazzy in Australia, whom I’m imagining is like a more Crocodile Dundee version of The Fonz:
Six days and no blog, just wondering if you are on holidays or something big is happening for you? I’m not a Tweeter, so don’t keep up with you there. I await a post.
Someone asked me the question in the title on Formspring in the middle of the I Am A Super Woman head blogger search. I didn’t answer it until last night.
I have mixed feelings sometimes about my career of choice. I say career of choice, because I know I can do a lot of things. In the nearly five years since I graduated college, I’ve held a few jobs in different sectors and industries.
I hate the idea of choosing a college major or dream merely because it’s realistic. It’s like always wearing a helmet or waiting until you have something in writing – it disrupts the rhythm of just doing. Sometimes when you have too much to fall back on, you fall back too easily.