It is true that we write for ourselves. We would write even if no one were reading it. In fact, many of us did, blogging along with no perceivable audience for months on end, writing our little stories, sending them out, and listening for that distant and inevitable "kapwing." (Actually, I want to design a T-shirt like that for Cafepress or Threadless or one o'them- a manuscript flying across the shirt with the word "kapwing" written under it. "Kapwing" is a nice word. I really like that word.) Errrm... ..
What was I blogging about? Oh, yes; community. Yes yes! We are good little writers and would write on faithfully into the vacuum, but! But but but! It is so much more rewarding if other people will tell you it's crap so you don't have to do it yourself all the time. No one is better at telling you, in the nicest and most productive manner possible, than the Evil Editor. I can't remember how I found EE. That's the sad truth. I was strung out on rejection slips, looking for ways to better myself without leaving the house (am I the only one who likes to stay in her Dr Denton's all day?) and so I started, shyly, putting in my cartoon captions, my less than 50 words for the Guess The Plots, just to get some response, even if it was only a single comment. Occasionally I even made one. I lurked around reading the blogs of the other minions, when all that was no longer enough, I. I. This is hard, you know...
i did a writing exercise.
Yes, it's true. But being the chicken hearted pathetico that I am, I didn't have the guts till March, 2009.
It was a lovely challenge. Write a rejection letter! Here's what I wrote:
Dear Ms. Wildesel:
We regret to inform you we will not be needing your services as a teacher at the Townham Primary School again next year. While we freely admit it was our mistake to believe your were using 'humour' when you answered the question 'What do you like most about working with small children?' with 'crushing their fragile little egos,' we do not feel legally or ethically bound to extend your employment. In addition, we would recommend that if anyone in the future is desperate enough to entrust you with another school class, it may be a good idea to check which students can swim before planning an outing to Bottomless Lake. Also, please familiarize yourself with the difference between 'dyslexia' and 'anorexia' for the good of all mankind.
We appreciate your application to renew employment at our school, but unanimously agree that 'Gimme the job please because I need to pay for a new snowboard' is not a good pitch. If, after due consideration, you decide you would like to pursue employment with us, we feel it is our duty to inform you that we have land mines in the teacher's parking lot with your name on them.
Silvia Peabody, Principal and The Teachers and Staff of Townham Primary School, including the Custodial Staff
The School Board
Every Single Student except Cameron 'I Embrace the Darkness' Smith
Townham Hospital Medical Personnel (and Custodial Staff)
The Townham Ladies Auxiliary
And my dog, Fluffy, and his remaining three legs.
It's been one long, hedonistic verbfest since then. Be sure to check out the other retrospective posts from Bloglodytes: