>If you’re bored, your readers will be, too

>Did you ever write an article that was so boring it was hard to make yourself work on it? I certainly have, and I don’t recommend it. Sometimes you have to take an assignment to please an editor or pay the mortgage and sometimes you can find an angle that makes it fun, but if at all possible, choose a subject that interests you. If it doesn’t excite you, you might be able to sell it, but will you be proud of it once you torture it out of your computer? Will it have any zip or sparkle? Will it make a clip you’d want to show people?

I won’t tell you which piece I did recently that fell into that category, but it made writing such a chore. I just wanted to publish something and get paid. But you know what? Between the time I drafted this blog entry and now, that story, for which the editor said yes to my query, got rejected. She was bored, too. I would have been better off spending the time cleaning my clogged gutters.

Try not to pitch a story only because you think it will sell, and if you’re submitting a list of ideas, as I did to another editor recently, don’t put a story on the list unless you’d be happy if the editor said yes.

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