I originally started Fallen Princess in 1994 after Sassy folded and I needed somewhere to complain about my frustrations with freelance magazine writing. I would often call my friend Charles Aaron to vent about sundry freelance humiliations. "Oh, the Fallen Princess," he would say, half-sympathetically, half-mockingly. And so the site was born. It had a short life, but it provided me with the illusion of control over my destiny. I subtitled the site "For the Freelance Community." I imagined it as a safe haven where freelancers would commiserate, but mostly, I wished to complain. I also would publish my killed stories, my contracts for my killed stories, accounts of the indignities I suffered at the hands of editors and publicists. And then I would wonder why my freelance career was going so poorly.
Ever since the magazine I last worked for folded 4 years ago, friends have suggested I start a blog. I couldn't understand why I should write for free. I was annoyed at how everyone seems to have a blog. I didn't know what I could add. Instead, I spent three years as a stay-at-home mom and community volunteer. Then my kids got bigger, I became bored, and I tried to get back into the freelance writing game. It hasn't been so easy.
I wrote the piece about door-to-door solicitors after dinner one night this week. I was thinking it would be perfect for the "Complaint Box" section of the New York Times. I submitted it via email and immediately got back this automated response:
"Thank you for writing to the Metropolitan Section. If you have submitted a Complaint Box essay, you should hear back from us within a month if we are interested in publishing it. If you do not hear back, thanks anyway, and feel free to submit it
I'm too impatient to wait a month. So I started this blog.