Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Day 204 of 365: Writing Snags

So, remember that little blurb I wrote a while back, about "How to Plan a Perfect Wedding"? I had been holding onto that essay, trying to find the perfect time to submit it. I know it makes me sound egotistical, but I know that essay had "viral" written all over it. Maybe not half a million shares viral, but at least 4 or 5 thousand shares viral. It had beat, it had poetry, and -- most importantly -- it pandered to the masses in a way that would make people want to share it with others.

(Seriously, why do you think the majority of essays that litter Facebook are things like, "17 BBFs Totally Do!" or "Marriage Is Not For Me!")

So I submit it, and it gets accepted, and it gets published ... as a list.

Not only that, but they change the title to properly list-ify it, and the preview blurb contains only one sentence. And it just so happens to be the one sentence that makes my essay look genuine and not sarcastic.

This isn't exactly the first time I've had issues with how Thought Catalog edits my stuff. From horrifically crappy preview texts to changing titles on me to pairing a very serious essay with very fluffy stock photos (which I would then get emails about, as if TC is some blog that I can totally just edit willy-nilly). And while it was frustrating recognizing that, while they didn't have the time to edit out a spelling or grammatical error, they did have the time to dumb down my essay, I let it pass. In a perfect world, writers would get the exact platform they needed with 100% control. But I don't and I can't. My little blog does not exact get the same traffic that Thought Catalog does. Nothing on this or my craft's page will ever go viral in the way things on TC can go viral.

However, timing is always incredible: the day they published my essay in such a format was the day I got an email back from another website about a different essay. They loved what I had written, but asked for a few changes before they could publish it. I was over the moon -- not only was there another website interested in my work, but they weren't going to just change my work on me. They wanted me to still have that control, even if they were the ones guiding it.

It's just a weird evolution. I went from a writer desperate to get anyone to listen to what I had to say to becoming particular about who I say what I have to say to. I remember reading Thought Catalog and wondering if I'd ever have the chutzpah to submit. And now I'm looking at other websites and going, "Maybe it's not as difficult as I thought it would be."

I still love Thought Catalog, and I still plan to submit things to them, but I believe yesterday was a bit of a wake-up call. It's time to diversify my portfolio, in a sense. So, first thing's first: time to edit up that essay and submit it back.

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