To the people who don't feel the need to write me back

Dear Sirs and Madams, As I write to you, masters of my world, day after day, I know it is important to keep a good perspective. I have my husband and family and friends. I have my health, and a roof over my head. I have life, sweet life, and I am on a journey - discovering my true potential as a writer, or who knows what else! What more could a person ask for?

As a younger adult I might have exclaimed, "Nothing!" and gotten on with my day. But at this stage of my professional career (which, by the way, is pretty much non-existent at the moment) I beg to differ. Not "nothing." I could ask for a lot more.

For instance, I could ask that one of you, just one, write me back. Here are some examples of what you could say.

"Dear Mrs. McDonough,

Thank you very much for your recent essay submission. We found your personal wit and style clever and brilliant and would like to hire you as a full-time columnist. The pay is millions. When can you start?

Very Sincerely Yours,

[insert well-known current events mag title here]"

There's one example. Seeing as I returned from my summer vacation over a month ago, however, and have yet to hear anything substantial from any of you, despite the fact that I've been writing what seems to me like a decent amount of emails and letters (none of which, by the way, seem desperate or unintelligent, because I've been studying how to write such queries in my "Writer's Market" book) I would accept the following, as well - simply ensuring me you know I am alive, and although brilliant, perhaps not right for you.

"Dear Mrs. McDonough,

Thank you so much for your recent query letter and resume. Although your ideas were, undoubtedly, unique, creative and intriguing, we have decided they are not right for our publication. Your ideas are, in fact, Mrs. McDonough, too good for us. We suggest you submit to The New Yorker, The Times, The Post - only the best. We wish you good luck on what will obviously be an amazing and historic career.

Very Sincerely Yours,

[insert magazine or newspaper title here]”

That's all I'm asking for, just an acknowledgment. I know you are busy putting together your issues and everything, but you don't have time to send a tiny email? To call me up one afternoon, even to tell me you are 100 percent not interested? (which, by the way, would be crazy, because I'm pretty good)

My friends, (I don't know why I'm even bothering to butter you up and call you "my friends" because, first of all, I don't even know you, and secondly, friends would have contacted me by now) I'm getting to the point where I'd be happy with a flat out rejection - even an unkind correspondence. There's only so much sitting at home talking to the dogs about what you should wear that day a person can take. Wait a second. Did I say sitting at home talking to the dogs? I meant sitting at home working on articles and scheduling interviews, in between reading chapters of great works of literature and philosophy.

"Dear Mrs. McDonough,

We didn't like your story ideas. Where do you get off sending us half-baked personal commentaries that you think are 'really funny?' We at [insert publication title here] do not find a) stories about your husband's birding habit b) stories about your minor health issues or c) stories about your father's style and lack of technological proficiency, funny.

Please do not contact us again. Get a life.

[insert publication title here]"

You see, even if I were to receive a letter like the above, I'd at least have a spring board of sorts with which to spurn myself forward, working harder, to avoid another rejection.

Instead, I have nothing, but the option of sitting and waiting, delving deeper and deeper into my creative resources, that weren't that deep to begin with, in order to put forth more work for your review. And even if I do push forward, ignoring the sustained silence from you, my judges, how do I know you are reviewing my hard work (or whatever came out when I sat down in front of the computer)? How do I know you aren't using my letter as a coffee cup coaster in the morning while you, the editorial staff, all laugh about the little people and their little ideas, and then discuss getting Seymour Hersh to do your next feature?

That's the thing. I don't know. And so, like a blind, wounded soldier, I push onward. Typing as fast as my hard-working hands can type, waiting in vain for an answer. Taking breaks if and only if something really, really good is on television.

I have attached my resume to this letter and can provide writing samples if needed. If you are interested in finally contacting me, before I lose it, come over to your offices and give you a piece of my mind - and believe me, I know where your offices are because I've sent you mail, I don't know if you've noticed - you can contact me by phone or email, any time (day or night, or even in the middle of the night, really, it's ok if you wake me up).

Very Sincerely Yours,

Cara M. McDonough