If you’re looking for the post, “Submitting a Packet to the Onion And How it Can Hurt Your Feelings,” it’s gone. I deleted it, because I didn’t really like it a lot, and that seemed to be the only reason that people come to this blog.
I wrote it at a time when I was learning to deal with a lot of dumb anxieties that stopped me from doing the things I wanted to do the way I wanted to do them. I wrote the post because I was beating myself up about not getting this job (or fellowship, whatever), and I wanted to stop. I really wanted to write for The Onion, but I wasn’t ready, and writing this thing helped me be OK with that, sort of in the same way someone who gets divorced tells their friends, “I’m happy I’m divorced!” a week after they get divorced.
The headline I wrote based on advice I got during a blogging workshop to make your headlines very google-able. This was annoying, because I went to the workshop thinking I’d get a hot tip on how to write better content, but the basic vibe from the whole thing was, “Write about what you think people are going to google, and then include the specific phrase you think people are going to google like fifty times within your content, so that you’re the first result – like me, I blog about how to get more people to my blog, so I just write ‘how to get more people to my blog’ a bunch, and then I hold workshops and you all paid me twenty dollars.”
So on a lark, as an experiment, I figured, “Hey I googled ‘Submitting a Packet to the Onion’ and nothing came up, so I am going to test this theory,” and now, years later, the only traffic this goddmamn blog ever gets is the ten to forty people a day who googled “Submitting a Packet to the Onion” and clicked the second result.
And I know for a fact that at least one person who works at The Onion has googled “Submitting a Packet to the Onion,” just to see what’s out there and been like, “Who the fuck is this asshole with his fucking blog?” – I don’t want to be that jerk, riding the asshairs of a publication I value for views on a blog that I do not keep up.
Because here’s the thing, I would love to write for The Onion, but you don’t get to write for The Onion, by being like “wah! They didn’t let me write for The Onion!”
Also, in the two years since I posted, I’ve gotten another chance to submit to The Onion and I didn’t take it, because at the time, I was too busy making a motherfucking feature film. So I’m doing great.
If you are going to submit a packet to the Onion, my understanding is ten headlines, then three News-in-Briefs from those headlines. Then take a comedy writing class and wait to hear the whispers that they’re looking. But probably don’t blog about it.