Don’t Give Up Your Day Job

Once again I have failed to get my “Columnist” piece (see yesterday’s entry) published by The London Paper, and the rejection hurts. If I want to continue along this path and see my work in print somewhere I’m going to need to do two things pretty quickly: 1. acquire a thick skin and 2. write better stuff.

Actually there’s a third thing: waiting for news. Ever since I was a child I have had a strange addiction to the feeling of anticipation: the one you get waiting for your purchase from a mail order catalogue to be delivered. I remember standing at my bedroom window all morning, looking out for the postman’s van then, when it finally came, straining to see how full his arms were when he started down our driveway. It’s the same with submitting articles. I just sit here, checking my email and their e-paper version online for any sign that — this time — I’ve been accepted. I haven’t yet stooped to loitering outside the Underground station waiting for the batch of today’s edition to be delivered, but can’t help feeling that’ll be the next step. Real writers send of dozens of things to different people then just forget about them and get on with their lives (or do they?). So the third thing is: get a hold of my anticipative disorder (I wonder if it is real, with a real name? Must look it up).

In retrospect I know why the piece didn’t make it into print. I wrote it in a hurry because I didn’t want to get in too late, and I was too tired to do it the night before, so it ended up being nothing more than a bit of poorly-planned spleen-venting that must’ve come across as Grumpy Old Man Moaning About The Youth Of Today: hardly the lightly incisive content they want for their work-weary readership. The article that pipped me to the post was written by someone who a) happens to be a journalist (although it isn’t usually), and b) was at the Tube party on Saturday. And instead of bitching about the moronic behaviour she pointed out that the troublemakers were in the minority, and most people had a nice peaceful time and now feel they are all being tarred with the same brush. The very same brush that I used in my piece, if I’m honest. You can read the article here.

It’s all good. Learning all the time. Next time I’ll try harder.


About Chris Neal

Personal Technology Consultant. Tailored services and advice for people who want more from their technology.
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