In my previous post about my boring life, I let you all know about my insecurities and my active imagination. The fact is, I am feeling vulnerable about my writing. I feel rusty. And Iâ€™ve been doing the never-do-that thing of comparing myself to others.
I am not Shakespeare and I am not Amy Tan. I am not anybody but myself, and that can make me feel depressed and inadequate.
I chose to spend a little time writing about myself, and it made me feel better. I shared it with you all. It amused me to write it; I thought it would amuse others to read it.
Youâ€™ve seen it on my page here, and I submitted it to another site so even more people could enjoy it. I submitted it late at night, and it was too late for the editors to check it and post it.
I was excited and checked my email to see if I had gotten any comments about it in the morning. Here is what the editor said:
Thank you for your contribution, “My Boring Life.” Currently it is not suitable for the needs of [our site] and will not be published. It’s been placed in Draft to give you an opportunity to get a copy of it for your computer.
To be resubmitted, the article would need to address the following:
There appears to be no discernible reason why you went from having a boring day to being quite upset. Was this an effort to inject some level of excitement into an otherwise boring day or was there a catalyst for this?
“Chris” is mentioned only in passing so we have no idea who this person is or their place of significance in your life. Where did you meet this person? How has this person come to be involved in your life? What is your relationship with this person? What book was this person reading that needed to be returned?
Although the title and opening paragraphs indeed define the boring life, it’s unclear whether this is a problem to resolve or a rant about the way things are. If the former, the article would then need to include resolution of some kind, perhaps any steps you’ve taken — successfully and unsuccessfully — to bring more enthusiasm in to your life. If the latter, it’s not likely to hold the reader’s attention.
It’s been my experience that even the most boring life is only seemingly so, that in fact many opportunities pop up all on their own and, if taken, do wonders for the humdrum of routine. Additionally, seeking out opportunities instead of making the most of things that could happen but didn’t (dropping car/work keys in the library drop box) does also lead us down paths of ever-growing activity where we oftentimes meet those who share our interests.
Other issues you might address would be why you work out, where you are employed and your duties/relationships there, the significance of both your mother and yourself having seemingly boring lives, what’s going on with your car and how you resolved its issues (and if you didn’t, why not? Money? Time? Knowledge?), and how it is that you came to live in this town for about a year (when/why did you move?).
Feel free to resubmit the article after it’s been reworked. I look forward to what you do with it.
What?!? had I asked for armchair psychotherapy? Maybe she read it too fast. Couldn’t she see the hyperbole? I mean really, just the phrase “The mind boggles with such humdrummery” should have rung the “time to laugh” bell. Everything in this email seemed to say “I am stupid and I don’t get it.” I replied quickly:
This piece was meant to be a piece of humor, talking about the busy excitement of ordinary life.
The first-person narrator complains about having a boring life, but in reality, her life is actually rather exciting. I believe “ironic tension” is what I was striving towards.
It is possible, I suppose, that you found the piece boring and uninteresting, and therefore did not see any tension between the “boring” premise and the things that followed.
You are right, though, about me not introducing Chris. I will edit that to say that he’s my boyfriend. But I don’t think the title of the library books would push the momentum of the story, and would only distract.
Perhaps you would like to give it a re-read, with the understanding that is a piece of ironic humor, and see if your below objections remain unresolved. Then we can go forward with the next step.
Her very quick reply back cleared things up:
As a good portion of the article was speculation per things that could have happened but did not, there is little in the way of ironic tension between the general theme (of a boring life) and that which actually took place.
The article will not be published as is. It will remain in Draft until 9pm eastern time and then it will be deleted.
Missy Pissy editor
Harsh. Harsh. My life was excruciatingly boring. It is proven so. And the only possible humor is the one that Missy Pissy understands. After all, one must have standards and hold all others to them.
I think I may not submit to that site any longer. I enjoy my own writing too much.