Saturday, January 17, 2009

I need to come clean. While my dream is to become a freelance magazine writer when I grow up, truth be told, I don't read a lot of magazines. 

Newspapers - yes, I could read them all day long. Books - yes, on any given day, I usually have 5 or 6 on my bedside table. Websites, yes - I can waste hours in front of my iMac. But magazines? Other than People, which I devour within 10 minutes of it being delivered to my mailbox, I am not a big fan of any one particular publication. 

That didn't stop me, however, from subscribing to at least 10 magazines when my middle school daughter had her sights on top sales dog of her school's magazine drive. So I've been accumulating magazines since September and finally got around to diving in to get a feel for my competition. 

I decided that I probably didn't have the expertise to write for the likes of Sports Illustrated, Outside, Fast Company and Boy's Life. Yet. So I concentrated on Women's Day, Real Simple and Cooking Light. No offense to any of those magazines - in fact, let me go on record as saying that I would be honored to be published in any one of those fine periodicals - but, it seems that if I want to achieve my dream of becoming a published writer, I will have to write about one of three topics. 
  1. Reinventing Date Night
  2. Getting Organized (from ones laundry room to ones finances)
  3. Creating Quick, Easy, Healthy Meals (I'm talking meals in under 30 minutes. Tops)
I'm not kidding, that was the bulk of what was available to read in the magazines marketed to woman. And the format was almost always the same: numbered lists and tests. Five Reasons To Plan A Secret Rendezvous with Your Husband, The 31 Sex and Love Thrills No Woman Should Miss, Ten Time-Saving Tricks to Organize Your Kitchen, One Chicken: Seven Healthy Meals, Eight Ways to De-clutter Your Life. Granted, I made these titles up, but I'm telling you, there is a magazine out there for each and every one of my made-up stories. 

If you are successful and manage to free up a few extra minutes for yourself, every magazine offers a test of some sort. Since I am very organized and had dinner simmering while I was reading, I had the extra time to take a fitness test, a sex test, a compatibility test, a personality test, an erotic dreams test and a what-kind-of-dog-would-you-be test. 

I know that I'm not suppose to believe everything I read, but after spending a few hours with women's magazines, I am convinced that every woman in America needs a major overhaul of her sex life and pantry and is in dire need of a make over. Unfortunately, she has no time to devote to any of these noble causes. 

Have no fear, I have another stack of magazines upstairs: Women's Health, Vanity Fair, Self and More. Hopefully I'll feel more at home flipping through their pages. I'll report back, in the meantime, if you've read any good articles, please share. But do me a bullet points and for the love of Pete, do not make me take a test...

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