Saturday, September 21, 2013

How to write an opinion essay in 63 easy steps

  1. Have opinion.
  2. See if anyone else has that opinion.
  3. Oh, someone does. 
  4. Go back to work.
  5. Have a different opinion.
  6. Test it on facebook.
  7. Realize it's an IMPORTANT opinion.
  8. Start drafting.
  9. Writing is hard. Go back to work.
  10. Realize that you also write for work
  11. Well, you could grade some papers.
  12. Or do committee work.
  13. Or maybe do that class prep.
  14. And isn't your conference paper due soon?
  15. Go back to drafting essay.
  16. Writing is still hard.
  17. Instead of writing essay, write a quick pitch and send it to an editor. 
  18. After all, no sense in writing the essay if there's nowhere to publish it
  19. Editor rejects. Already has enough on that topic.
  20. Feel crestfallen but relieved because writing is hard.
  21. Still have opinion.
  22. Send just one more pitch to a different editor.
  23. Repeat steps 19-22 until pitch accepted or you need a snack.
  24. Mmmm, snacks.
  25. Start writing essay based on approved pitch.
  26. Struggle to find lede.
  27. Mmmm, snacks.
  28. Lede was apparently hiding in potato-chip bag. 
  29. Maybe there are more writing ideas in this bag.
  30. No, just chips. Delicious, salty, crunchy, chips.
  31. Writing is easy! Words pour out like grease from your pores after eating all those chips.
  32. Reach middle of the essay and realize you have no idea where the essay is going.
  33. Start composing email to editor eloquently explaining why you cannot submit an essay by deadline.
  34. Sigh.Writing is hard
  35. Go back to writing essay.
  36. Remember opinion. Believe it's important. 
  37. Send draft to readers.
  38. Accept all criticism graciously.
  39. Inside voice: Respond to critics with: "I'll get you my pretty and your little dog too!"
  40. Revise.
  41. Repeat steps 37-40 until reasonably satisfied or self-imposed deadline is reached.
  42. Send to editors.
  43. Wait for edits.
  44. Weep over edits.
  45. Be brave, those words are your babies, but they must fly free.
  46. Ok, that was really bad writing.
  47. Accept
  48. Wait for essay to be published.
  49. There it is!
  50. Obsessively track social media shares of essay.
  51. Grumble at site placement.
  52. Grumble at not being tweeted by site enough.
  53. Read comments.
  54. NO DO NOT READ THE COMMENTS
  55. Answer inflammatory comments.
  56. NO DO NOT ANSWER THE COMMENTS.
  57. Repeat steps 50-56 until someone makes you take a shower and maybe eat some breakfast.
  58. Mmmm, breakfast.
  59. Take one dollar and all the money received from opinion writing and buy one donut for 99 cents. 
  60. Hey, you've got a penny!
  61. Can't buy much with a penny these days.
  62. Someone should write something about that.
  63. Have opinion.

2 comments:

Jane Yolen said...

Yep, that sums it up. I usually stop at #3,

David Perry said...

Wiser than I, then.