On Monday I did the unspeakable. I submitted 4 of my blog posts to National Public Radio for review in hopes they would be aired (two to Morning Edition and two to All Things Considered). The great thing about church every Sunday is that is makes you feel all special and talented inside. This Sunday I came home with a particularly over ripened batch of these delusions and 24 hours later was banging on NPR's door demanding recognition as the newer, better David Sedaris. It wasn't 5 hours after I had sent my essays that the self-loathing kicked in.
Ever since then, I've been going through NPR archives and other literary publications to see what I'm up against and it ain't pretty. NPR generally discovers and showcases the best literary talents in America and most of them don't write blogs about baby poop in the swimming pool (by the way, I apologize for that). Ira Glass wrote a particularly helpful article about what makes a good radio piece and my submissions go against most of his points. But now I've got that pernicious bug under my skin and would kill to have something read on the radio. I'm checking my email every 5 minutes to see if they have responded yet even though I would have to guess they won't even read my submissions for weeks. One of the interns at NPR wrote about how she submitted articles for over a year and the only time she got publicity was when one of the editors from NPR was doing an interview about what NOT to submit and used her piece as an example of bad writing.
Basically, I feel like a fool. I try to avoid situations like this. I never want my writing to become anything other than sheer expression and now I find myself mortally concerned about verbiage, punctuation, depth of meaning and recognition. It has taken the fun out of things considerably. Especially when writing is such a revered medium. Most of the "good" writers in my book have a clear voice, compelling narrative and Budda-like insights. I feel like most of my stuff is still on the Seinfeld level, a random collection of disjointed ideas held together by the common theme of having nothing to do with anything.
But I've given it a shot. NPR has my stuff and they know where to reach me to send the condolence letter. I just hope they have the good grace to send a condolence letter. The worst case would be that I never hear anything back from them and spend the rest of my life feeling around in the mailbox for their response with the hope that my essays just got stuck at the bottom of a pile and took longer than usual to process. The blog will continue, but NPR is for the big boys and I'm just a small girl with a big bootie. Close, but not close enough.