Friday, October 11, 2013

Day 68 of 365: Thought Catalog and Blah Blah Blahs

The biggest upshot to my 365 blog is that I'm never without a steady stream of essays-in-waiting.

I don't know what it is about the Gen Y culture. Maybe it's because we grew up reading David Sedaris. Maybe it's because we're all self-obsessed and would rather write about ourselves and our experiences than about made-up characters (or other real-life people). But, as a whole, we love essays. The main character in Girls is an essay writer, hoping to make it big with her stories about herself (and if there were ever a show that best embodied the self-centered nature of Gen Y "artists", that show is it).

I loved the idea of essay-writing. Ideally, I would write essays the way David Sedaris does: anecdotal stories of my past told him an absurdly humorous way. But, truth be told, ideas came and went and, while they played out in my mind while waiting for the T or being stuck in traffic, they never made the jump to the concrete world.

Then, I finally wrote, "Teaching: A Noble Quit". If only because I desperately needed to sort out the complex emotions that leaving the education world behind brought. I decided to submit it to Thought Catalog, even though the site had way more than its fair share of creative writing majors who wanted to be the next ~big essayist~.

Much to my surprise, it was published the next day. And it caught on a little bit. A few teachers (and former teachers) talked about their experiences in the education world. A week or two later, I started up the 365 Blog, and wrote out my blah blah blahs until they made a semi-cohesive post.

They are not all winners. I will be the first to admit that. But, every once in a while, I find one that I like enough to polish up and submit to Thought Catalog. A few got rejected. A few slipped through the cracks. But a few more got published. By the third essay, I got an email from one of the producers, telling him to start submitting my essays directly to him. I sent him my "27 Things I Learned by 27" and it became my most successful essay to date.

It feels good, knowing that I'm toeing into "frequent contributor" territory with the magazine. And, really, it's all thanks to my 365 Blog. While I still feel like I'm drudging through swampland with my third manuscript (I write a page or two and downright feel my brain collapse under the strain), I feel like I'm becoming a little less scattered with my thoughts. I can break down the blah blah blahs until they're no longer random emotions and thoughts, but an actual idea.

And sometimes that idea is absolute bollocks. And sometimes the idea is worth submitting to other places.

Feel like reading slightly edited versions of this blog on Thought Catalog? Follow me on my writer's page at:

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