The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Friday, June 09, 2006

The Mercenary Me

by Melissa Bell

Well, folks, here’s the thing. After reading Mr. Antonios’s post of yesterday, and in my position of privilege as CWC blogger having taken a peak at tomorrow’s lovely offering by Ms. Patricia, I knew that today, my day (as in every other Friday), I was really going to have to “bring it.” No mean feat, let me tell you. Especially since yesterday was also my Annual Review, and trying to get away with my wanton goldbricking at the computer in order to produce something of bloggy brilliance when I should be doing legitimate work-related research (or something) was going to be more challenging than ever. Than ever.

So have I logged on here today, my friends, to tell you that I decided to bail? That I just don’t have anything to say so please just cut me some slack and leave me the hell alone, why don’t you?

Well, au contraire, folks.

Au contraire.

Thing is, inspired by all of the inspirational inspiration that was happening all around me, I wound up writing something that I really quite like; in fact, I like it enough I want to send it to “Publication X”. Unfortunately, “Publication X” won’t even look at anything that’s been previously published, in any form, including a blog. Can you believe it? Believe it. Cruel bastards, yes. But they pay $1500 an essay. Can you pay me $1500 an essay? I know you want to, and would gladly do so, and I appreciate that, I really do. But for now, save your money. I’m really probably not worth it, and it shouldn’t take too long to prove just how right I am about that.

Now I know you’re probably all disappointed that I’m trying to placate you, a fine and loyal CWC reader, with this third-rate, practically-phoned-it-in material, and no doubt you’re seeing me as some worthless sell-out, getting all high and mighty with my lofty ideas of being accepted (as if!) by “Publication X”. And you, being the wise person you are, would be right. But these are the difficult choices we must make at times, my friends. Do we, as writers, consistently and constantly offer our work for free? Or do we sometimes say, “Screw it. I really want a shiny laptop. I think I’ll try going for a paying gig with this one.” Harsh, so harsh, I know. Listen, I once got dumped by a guy because he wanted a yacht and I didn’t have one, so I know how you feel. But I’m not dumping you, my friends, oh no! I am so not dumping you.

You see, “Publication X” is probably just going to toss my submission right back in my face and so in a few weeks’ time, I’ll post it right here for all to read. That will then give you a chance to say “Gah! You actually thought ‘Pub X’ would even consider this? What are you smoking, Bell?” And I’ll say, “Yeah, I know. I’m such a goddamn moron.” Therefore, you, with a little patience, will get to experience the unique high of schadenfreude whilst I get a lesson in the true meaning of hubris and “comeuppance”.

In the words of Jethro Bodine, “It’s a win-win sitchiation.”


Blogger Antonios Maltezos said...

Squeaaaaal!!! A love this, smiled straight through to the end. What flair, what panache... ballsy, too! Good one, Mel.

Fri Jun 09, 09:22:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger Andrew Tibbetts said...

Some journals don't mention whether they pay. So you have to ask them, send a grovelling e-mail, "umm, excuse for me asking, but,...sorry to be such a bore..., do you pay for printed articles?...I mean it's fine if you don't. Really...ummm..." Only in the arts man!
Do you think a secretary would have to ask 'is this a paying position?' or a doctor 'is this an OHIP-eligible hernia, or just for fun?' or a crack-whore with a sliding scale or a pay-what-you-can or plate passed that you can let just pass on by...

I hope you make a mint, Mel!

Fri Jun 09, 11:00:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger Anne C. said...

They don't call you Cupcake for nothing.

Fri Jun 09, 11:01:00 am GMT-4  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fabulously funny, Melbel. Good luck with the submission.

Sat Jun 10, 12:11:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger Patricia said...

You are soo freaking funny, I love this, like I said before, I look sooo forward to your posts...I've been doing some research on where to perhaps so writing relating essays, I have noooo idea where to look, good luck with this and let us know how it goes!!! Hope you have a great weekend..xo

Sat Jun 10, 12:46:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger J.A. McDougall said...

Ah ha! The collective has inspired writing that will bring profit! I'm thrilled you have a great piece to send, Mel. Your post today was terrific!

Sat Jun 10, 01:44:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger craig said...

Anybody who quotes J. Bodine is a fine individual where I come from.

Screw publication X, I hear they're going under anyway.
Great stuff, Melissa.

Sun Jun 11, 10:41:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger tamara said...

You're a riot. I hope we don't see the post here... Either way, I'm looking forward to reading it.

Mon Jun 19, 12:38:00 pm GMT-4  

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