I have been writing for a while now and have learned some things. One of them is not to expect miracles; like having an Editor from the New York Times stumble across your blog and offer you a job on the spot because that shit only happens in the movies or when you videotape yourself wearing a Chewbacca mask and it goes viral. Whatever… I don’t even like Star Wars, but my point is this: I DO like writing and don’t suck at it as much as I thought, but it was time to step up my game.
Last year, I attended my first blog-related conference. It was an intimate group of (mostly) humor writers—many of which I had been following for years—and I wanted to meet them all for different reasons. Jen Mann from People I Want To Punch In The Throat was at the top of my list. She is a master at marketing and promotion—The Mother of Anthologies—and everything she touches turns to gold. There was no way I was going to miss an opportunity to introduce myself and pick her brain, and I was grateful that she didn’t throw up when I squeezed her.
I met some kickass writers that weekend and walked away with an inspirational hangover and a plethora of new best friends. Since then, I have watched my career unfold like an origami bubble. There are some days when I pinch myself to make sure that I’m not dreaming and one of them happened a few months ago. Anyone in the industry, primarily those who write about parenting, can tell you that an invitation from Jen Mann to submit to one of her books is a big deal. I studied that email as if we were going to be tested, and quickly flipped open my calendar to plug in the due date. This was my one chance to prove myself and I wasn’t going to screw it up.
Aside from all the drama surrounding my personal life, everything seemed to be falling into place. I was gearing up for my next big workshop and looking forward to seeing a few of my friends. The first night, we snuck into my room with an oversized bottle of red wine, compliments of Sammiches and Psyche Meds and Foxy Wine Pocket. We were three glasses deep when Jen’s latest project came up. I assumed my friends had received invitations because they had in the past and I was particularly excited about mine. “I was honored that she included me,” I smiled, “and shocked that I was even on her radar.”
When Fox asked if I had sent in my piece yet, I didn’t think anything of it. “Not yet,” I laughed, “I’ve got until May 28th.”
Me: You’re kidding, right? April Fools!
Fox: I’m not kidding.
Me: Are you serious? Oh my God, please tell me this is a joke.
Fox: I’m so sorry. It was due on March 28th.
The next several minutes were a blur: a wine-induced haze that caused my eyes to puff up like pink marshmallows. “What am I gonna do?” I cried, “I can’t believe I fucked this up. I am so pissed off at myself right now I can’t even think straight!”
Fox: Send her an email—now—and own it.
Me: I will totally own it because I’m an asshole, but not NOW! I can’t send her an email now… I’m drunk… and crying! How about I give you my phone and you write it for me?
Fox: Just write the damn email and we will proof it before you hit send.
Another thing I have learned as a writer is to never miss a deadline, especially with Jen Mann. Aside from being a brilliant publisher, she is one of the most organized motherfuckers I have ever met, and the fact that she gave me a second chance was a stroke of compassion that I didn’t see coming. I cannot tell you how excited and appreciative I am to be gracing the pages of her latest anthology, “I Just Want To Be Perfect” with some of the funniest bitches on the planet. If you’re looking for a good summer read, pick up a copy today. And also, take a minute and share some of your not perfect moments below because I hate to party alone, especially when I do something stupid.