love these ladies.
So I’ve received several e-mails asking me how I got involved with Hellogiggles, and what kind of steps one should take in order to become involved with Internet writing in general, and I thought instead of e-mailing all of you back individually, I would just post on here.
1. I got involved with HG by submitting a personal essay to their “From Our Readers” column. The essay was titled “So, A Creative Writing Major Walks into a Bar” and it was about learning how to laugh at yourself when people essentially judge you for majoring in creative writing. I always wanted to be published by HG, and writing for them was my dream goal, so I just went for it one day. I put a bunch of time into the essay, showed people (I even e-mailed it to one of my former professors), and made sure it was solid before I submitted it. A few months later, I got an e-mail from the HG team saying they have accepted my story, and that I should be seeing it on the website soon. About a month after that, I was invited to become a regular writer because my story had done so well. So, when you are writing something for HG, do think about the longevity of the piece, in terms of its relevancy and how your audience will react to it. It can’t just be YOUR story, it has to be ALL of our stories. Think about a way to tell your story so that people can resonate. HG has grown considerably since I first started in 2012, so I’m not sure if From Our Readers is the best gateway anymore. However, I know my editors are always looking for unique angles on topics you are passionate about, so go ahead and send them your ideas via email@example.com.
2. Write every day. Seriously. I have friends who are annoyed or hurt when their work is not accepted, but writing is a craft, and you need to work on it daily in order for it to be good. It’s like toning. You won’t tone your muscles if you just sit on your ass eating nachos and watching Gossip Girl. You get toned by lifting weights every single day. Ugh, I hate that analogy, but I’m tired, so that’s the best I can do for you right now. Anyway, the market is competitive. You want to be the best. Natural talent will only get you so far (i.e. not that far); I keep several journals, and I write in them daily. I have a Google spreadsheet of ideas, because I don’t trust myself to remember. As a freelance writer, you need to be FLOWING with ideas. Constantly. You must be an idea FOUNTAIN. Also… know your grammar. Seriously. Know how to use a semicolon properly. Don’t use a dash instead of an emdash. Do not, under any circumstances, mix up there, their, they’re, and your and you’re. There is no such thing as “anyways,” and “irregardless.” Do not be sloppy. Editors hate when you are sloppy. Also? READ. You won’t become a good writer if you never read, and I’m not talking about the Divergent or Twilight series. I’m talking about real books, like Democracy by Joan Didion, or The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. (To be clear, Divergent and Twilight are great entertainment reads, but not working-on-your-career-as-a-writer reads.) Expand your vocabulary, and learn how to use language effectively.
3. What you should write about: OK. So, here’s the thing. The Internet is a vast, vast animal. New topics are trending everyday. Emma Stone just cut her hair chin-length. Blake Lively wrote a bizarre post about aging and bees on her website. Etc. But how can YOU contribute to this ever-changing environment? You need to think of unique angles, because there are thousands upon thousands of writers out there wanting to write about short hair and bees right now. You should also think about the type of writer you want to be, and what kind of voice you want to have.
4. Submit. If you’re not an established writer, you may need to actually write out your story, and then send it. Editors don’t know your work yet, and you don’t have a portfolio to speak for your writing. Expect to write a lot and get rejected a lot. I’ve written a ton of pieces (spending hours upon hours doing so) for various websites who never published them. That’s the industry. It’s a terrible bitch. Don’t expect to get paid right away, either; I wasn’t. I wrote for free for awhile, and I was happy writing for free, because I was given the chance to expose my work to a huge audience, and I got to build my readership. Not okay with not being paid? Then freelancing may not be your thing.
So, ultimately, you will not just wake up one day with 3,000 followers on twitter and high-profile websites begging you to submit your work to them. It will be a gradual process, one that you’ve gotta really work for.
If you’re just starting out, I would recommend sending a pitch to Hellogiggles, writing a personal essay or fun listicle for Thought Catalog (they publish tons of new writers), or a personal essay for xoJane (they pay, too!). Go the websites, find the necessary e-mails you need (do some research and try to address your cover letter/e-mail to one of the editors, instead of writing the generic “to whom it may concern”), and send send send. Be patient. Work on your craft. There are no miracles, just hard work. :)
In the first decade of the 21st century, nothing was off-limits. It was the age of pseudo punk-rock filled with spiked hair and spiky bracelets from Hot Topic, ”scandalous” pop and hip-hop coated in halter crop tops, and lots of eyeliner. There was so much eyeliner.
For many of us, the music of the early 2000s paved the way for our very mature existence. We were sensually shaped by Britney Spears’ sophomore album, Gwen Stefani’s slow-but-sure drift away from No Doubt, and all the bands that made moving to Southern California seem dreamy — and absolutely necessary. We wore knee socks and Vans. We sang along in our parent’s cars.
We know you were a different person back then, but that doesn’t mean your inner 2000s diva ever really left.
Well. I got around to watching the True Blood series finale last night. Like most finales, it didn’t quite do the show justice, and I felt very “meh” about the entire thing, even though I think it ended appropriately. Spoilers ahead, so stop reading if you haven’t watched it!
So, okay. I KNEW it was best for Sookie if Bill died. I get it. We all get it. He’s done nothing but cause trouble in her life. He’s betrayed her, almost killed her, almost raped her, etc. He’s bad news. For sure. But did Sookie feel most alive with him, ironically? Hell yeah. She loved Bill. Always did. I wanted that love to continue, whether they were together or not. I just wasn’t totally sold on him dying, EVEN THOUGH everything about this season pointed toward his longing to be with real family. I guess it was kinda poetic that Sookie killed him twice. Once when she allowed him to feed off her, and again when she staked him. The cemetery scene was pretty awesome, I must say. It brought back memories from I think season 1? When Sookie thinks Bill is dead and runs to the cemetery only to find Bill naked and horny and ready to fuck! Yeah, not so much this time.
I was very whatever about Jessica and Hoyt. I think the writers made that happen because ooh wow a wedding on the finale, very original. And Jason? Of course he ends up with Bridget. Yawn.
One thing I absolutely loved about the finale, is that they didn’t show who Sookie’s guy was. A human, sure. But otherwise, it didn’t matter. All that mattered is that she was happy, living a normal, preggo life. Because, after all, this show is about Sookie, not the guys she hooked up with. ALSO, Eric + Pam. Love that happy ending. I KNEW Eric couldn’t die.
Oh well. I’ll miss you, True Blood.
ENEMIES, LOVE YOUR
As a child, I stapled my fingers together
Sometimes you are born without wanting to sign for peace
At the time of conception, the body is a dumb TV at the curb
Sometimes you say no and get diamonds anyway
Sometimes you are a toothpick in a man’s mouth
In school they teach you about the many colors of dying
The Virginia Woolf, the AIDS, the Wrong From Birth
I am always loved by men dressed as Jesus
They give me their Word
They take away their Word
Sometimes blood is only arithmetic
How little of it, how much to avoid zero
Planes crash when you are afraid to tell the truth
Velocity is a privilege, and headrests, and language
If a knife is at your throat, you say Every angle is terrifying
Sometimes Rilke will not sit with you in the photo booth
Sometimes beauty does not want to be seen with you
There are men who will title your life “Violent, with Reckoning”
Sometimes a sneaker is the only boat to leave on
Sometimes a girl will become <
Not less than, but an opening
When flowers wilt, so does love, so does god
There is music when what you love crosses the ledger line
Every good boy does fine
No good man lets a pretty thing die
I swear the ’90s bred mean girl culture.
Attempting to make my own chai latte. Kinda successful? I steeped four bags of Tazo chai in a mug and then added half of that to a mason jar (I know) with some vanilla almond milk and a teaspoon of sugar. LORD KNOWS IM TRYING.
Let’s just talk about Wednesday’s perfect “not giving a fuck” attitude because it’s marvelous.
wednesday addams was the original april ludgate.
You know, everyone hated this season of The Office (second to last, I think?) but Erin was like, hitting the PEAK of her comedic genius, and I loved that character so much. Ellie Kemper Project?