What Pitching an Article to Cracked.com has Taught Me About Myself.

I realized recently that the main difference between my older posts and my newer posts (other than my writing being more horrible in the older posts) is that I rarely inform my readers of how my everyday life is going. I’m going to try and correct this problem now. But just as a warning, this might not be all that funny.

So, yes, as the title stated, I am writing an article for Cracked. I don’t want to give out all the information about it (that would take too long and I don’t want to jinx the pitch more that I already have) but I will tell you that it’s going to be about Pixar movies. And over the past 3 weeks that I’ve been working on it, I’ve noticed a few things about myself as a person that I didn’t expect to find out by pitching an article to a website famous for its dick jokes. Anyway, I thought I’d share the things I’ve learned with you now.

-I have a serious ego problem
When I first started writing the pitch for Cracked, I was thinking to myself, “Man, this is going to be so easy. I’ll just fart out this pitch, let the moderators and editors swoon over it, and blow their goddamn minds with the full article when they ask me to write it, which will be next week by the latest.” I posted my pitch into the pool of submissions right before I started getting ready for work on Thursday the 5th. When I got home the next morning, I had received a message. Fuck yes. Bring on the swooning.

Minigan Blackwood, you must be our God. Please, impregnate our women!

Well actually, no. What it said was more like: “Hey, you’re new here! Welcome! Now, here’s what you did wrong. You didn’t properly format the article, so you’ll need to fix that. Here is a link to show you how. You also don’t have enough entries, and one of them seems to be more of the speculations of a crazy person than a supportable point. You might want to fix that too. Get to it.” (I would like to point out that that is a much less polite version of what the moderator said to me.)
Fuck knuckles. I read that page that he linked several times ever since I got my user name. How the fuck did I forget something as simple as “needs 6 entries” and “five of them can only be 4 sentences long?”
…OK. That was only a minor brainfart on what will be a hugely successful article. And that was totally my bad. Let’s just fix those, and add an entry about Pixar being a single universe, post it as a new thread, and prepare for internet glory.
Nope. I wasn’t supposed to post it as a new thead, so sayeth another moderator. Fuck.
Alright! Now I fixed that, and revised my old entry. Let’s just message the other moderator and let him know I fixed what he wanted and…
…He didn’t like my new entry. He wanted me to be more specific about how Pixar is a single universe
Ok, that’s an easy fix, especially since that’s an important point that leads into my final entry. Just add a couple of examples, and they’ll be sure to accept it.
Well, no. That won’t work either because they already had an article that talked about the Easter eggs from Pixar films. Damnit! That one was important. I didn’t want to have to do this, but it looks like I may have to argue with the moderator on this one. Well, “argue isn’t the right word. Let’s use, “respectfully disagree.”

Pictured: me “respectfully disagreeing” with the moderator

His message back to me restated his claim in a different way and pointed out that since it was an important idea it could go with the final entry; it just wasn’t important enough to warrant its own. You win this round, Moderator.
And all of this was just from the Thursday that I first pitched it to Sunday. There is a whole other week and a half of me changing things and them rejecting it. I was actually pretty disillusioned by the whole thing. Why isn’t this easier? I just figured they’d accept my article. I mean, It’s not like I’ve never written on the internet before. I write for my blog all the ti- Oh I see what the problem is.
Since I graduated from college a year and a half ago, I haven’t tried to publish anything. Not a goddamn thing. This is my first article pitch to Cracked, and I sent it in 9 months after I signed up for their writer’s workshop. Not only that, the only feedback I’ve gotten on my writing was back in February when I sent a story I was working on to my friend Brittany, who was in my fiction group in college. So what’s happened is that I’ve gotten so used to just farting out things for my blog without anyone stopping me or telling me that it needs work, that the fact that someone at The Most Successful Comedy Website is shooting down my ideas again and again is really uncomfortable to me. Especially because it made me realize how much of an ego I had gained since college. I mean, sure, I’m always confident that my writing is good. I write all the time, and I usually hate things that I’ve written 6 months prior. That has to mean that I’m getting better as a writer. But I shouldn’t think that my writing is so good that I will immediately get to write my pitch in full and have it published. That’s just crazy. When did I get this bad? I’m never this egotistical; I’m seriously the most humble motherfucker alive.

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Nothing says, “Humble” like showing several images of past blogs and tweets to prove how awesome you are.

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– It takes some force outside of my control to motivate me

As I mentioned, it took me a year and a half after graduating, and 9 months after signing up for Cracked to finally pitch an article. Why it took me so long involves a bunch of different excuses but they all come down to, “I’m kind of lazy.” But then, what motivated me to finally pitch an article? Well, it was this:

Now, I had an idea for a Cracked article about Pixar long before this tweet, so once I saw it, I knew that I had to get my idea published before Dan O’Brien screwed everything up for me. Because let’s be honest, I cannot be that original, and there is a very good chance that at least one of the arguments that I make is going to show up in the video. That means that if the video goes up first, it will be assumed by everyone that I just took my ideas from the video. I cannot have this. So I started writing my pitch as soon as I could. I will not let my article be considered as a less funny, non-video version of the After Hours episode. It’s already going to be that, so I need to get it in first so that I at least look original.
But that really doesn’t matter because, I don’t have a say when the article goes up. If they accept it, it could be in two weeks, it could be in a month, it could be in two months. I don’t know when my article will go up, and I don’t know when the video will go up. All I have to go on is getting it accepted first.
-I am kind of paranoid
Once I saw Swaim’s tweet, I resolved to tell off this O’Brien character so that he knew he was going to have to compete with me. I did this by slamming the shit out of him on Twitter:

The ball’s in your court, Date Of Birth Incorporated.

I didn’t think much of it other than, “If he actually reads this, he’ll probably be disappointed on how not funny it is. But as my pitch needed more and more work, part of me (See: my ego) couldn’t help but suspect that that damn Dan O’Brien was behind all this.
I know that it’s irrational; he’s the head editor for that site. If he has the time between everything he does to be so pissed off by my one not that funny tweet, then he really needs a hobby or a girlfriend or maybe superpowers so that he can start fighting crime on the side.
That’s what I know. But there still is that annoying voice in the back of my head (it sounds a lot like Smeagol from Lord of the Rings) telling me that everyone at Cracked is against us and that they’re filthy hobbitses and that they stole the precious from us.
It kind of comes back to my ego. It’s like even though I know it isn’t true, there is still a part of me that’s thinking, “Clearly, Minigan, your writing is amazing. That’s not the issue. The issue here is that everyone at Cracked is intimidated by your amazing writing powers.” That isn’t a healthy way to think. And not just because Brockway can out crazy me, and Seanbaby can beat the shit out of me. It’s unhealthy because if I think that and do not retort with what’s really going on (my pitch still needs work; I am foil hat wearing levels of paranoid) then how am I ever supposed to take negative feedback on my work. I’m a writer. It’s what I want to do. And that is one of the few things I am 100% sure of. That means that I need negative criticism to help me become a better writer. And that is exactly what they’re doing. I realize now that if they wouldn’t have had me change some of the things that need changing in my pitch, then those entries probably would have sucked. They’re only trying to help me, and it’s unfair of me to take it as an attack.

So if you’re reading this Dan, I know (and hope) that my paranoia is unjustified and I completely believe that you didn’t tell all the moderators and editors to make things incredibly difficult on me so that you could have your revenge for that tweet. Also if you reading this: Holy shit! Welcome to my blog!!!! Oh wow, this is such a huge honor! I’ve been a fan of yours for the past few years and I’m so happy that we get to finally meet! Omigod, I should’ve cleaned up this blog page. Everything is a mess and there’s no sense of order. This is so embarrassing. Feel free to peruse through my older posts; most of them are pretty amazing. Oh, and one more thing. That Smeagol sounding voice in the back of my head wants its precious back. He told me you’d know what he meant.

This is what Google Image Search came up with. I don’t know why my paranoid voice had a black girl, so I hope you just let her go.

– I’m not that bad of a person after all.
Despite how frustrating this may have been for me, I have been impressively able to not be a dick to the editors or moderators. I know that they are just doing their jobs and that they have to deal with dozens of different writers, some of them worse that I am, some much better, and hopefully no dicks. But, just like in real life and at a bodybuilding competition, unexpected dicks happen. Well, I was not going to be one of those unexpected dicks. After all, I worked a similar position when I was in college. I was a writing tutor, so I understand how difficult it is to tell someone that their writing doesn’t work while not insulting them about it to. The main difference is that I had the luxury of having the people I tutored not be anonymous.
Wait, I was only not a dick to the moderator and the editor. That doesn’t make me a good person because I can still be a dick to a bunch of people. Nevermind, everybody. I was wrong. I am still a bad person. That means I can still say awful things on this blog to make you laugh. Hurray!

“Yeaaaaah! Wooooo! Minigan’s still interesting!!!!! Wooooooo!!!!”

Oh, and speaking of this blog: this is my 81st post, which means we only have 18 posts left to go before my 100th Blog Post Spectacular! I’m telling you this because those next 18 are going to be so fucking insane. You’ve been warned.
Peace

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3 Comments

  1. Hi, can you tell me how to actually pitch an article to them?
    I’ve logged in to their message board or whatever, but everyone just says IM IN and nothing happens. WHERE do we go to actually submit our article ideas to start WRITING wtf?

  2. This info would be much appreciated as I’ve had the account on cracked for a while, just don’t get where to go from there…

    • Go to the forums tab on their homepage and look to see if there is a forum called Cracked Comedy Workshop. that’s where all the articles are submitted. You’ll want to read the first post on that page, “All Your Questions Answered Here.” That post will give you a good idea on what they’re looking for when it comes to pitching an article. After you do that, write up your pitch and post it as a new thread at the bottom of the Cracked Comedy Workshop page.
      I hope this helped, and Good luck posting! My article got rejected, but I hope to read yours soon!


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