The 10 Worst Things I Wrote In 2018

As determined by Medium view count.

Photo by Jilbert Ebrahimi on Unsplash

Anyone can write a Top 10 list. All these recaps and lists of accomplishments and hopes for the year to come got me thinking about how 2018 was a year that didn’t go so well for me (can you smell the understatement), and how maybe instead fearing it, I could poke the jellyfish with a stick.

So here they are, 10 essays I wrote this year that you didn’t like. I’ve revisited them to determine if you’re entirely wrong and I’m amazing, or if maybe it’s okay to be a little bit meh.

(Listed in order of least most unpopular to most most unpopular)

Photo by me

10 — Halloween Is A Single Person’s Holiday: It’s hard to compete with the number of people who enjoy couples costumes, I get it. I did however want to explain how absolutely glorious Halloween can be for single people, and dammit if I don’t think I did. Also I just love Halloween and Flying Tiger had an impressive selection this year so whatever.

9 — Standing Up For Myself To Commenters Who Tell Me To Stand Up For Myself: Honestly I didn’t really like this one either, I was just in a mood.

8 — I Don’t Pay This Much Rent To Sweat In October: I’ll bitch about humidity all I want, thank you, I don’t need your praise. This one was probably tough for anyone living outside of NYC to identify with, given our penchant for vomitous rent prices and the unique feeling that we’re all living inside a travel steamer for about 5 months about of the year. It’s a unique life, I understand.

7 — The One That Did It: I love this one but I think my title wasn’t descriptive enough. I very, very rarely write fiction, and it’s certainly on my list of life goals. (Though I don’t know if I’ll hit it in 2019, I don’t like to put too much pressure on one calendar year.) I need to get better at this, I’ll try my best, bear with me. Or just don’t read any fiction I write until I tell you the coast is clear.

Photo by MontyLov

6 — An Open Letter To The Woman Smoking Beneath My Window: Fun fact, she’s doing it right now!! I can see her wafts of cancerous vapor phantoming up from beneath. A running theme with my least popular posts is that they’re mostly me bitching about stuff. This tells me to imbue my scribbles with more positivity in the coming year and I thank you for this directive.

5 — Dear Dickhead Who Stole My Cat Food: This underperformed because the word “cat” was in the headline, I have no doubt. But you know what, fine. I have been plagued by a package thief for the lats 14 months of my life and I will curse his name at every opportunity.

4–5 Things You Need Before Solo Travel: File under “I’m only trying to help,” I actually think there are some gems in here that you need to look into before you travel somewhere on your own. Or with others for that matter, because preparing your immune system and footwear for a journey is just good business. Also I mean what I say about researching your trip on Instagram and familiarizing yourself with the layout of the city. Unless you like wandering around starving and settling for a place that “looks good” from street which is so stupid you guys.

3 — Top 5 Copywriting Crimes Committed On Valentine’s Day: Essentially just subject line shaming. I am just doing my part to improve the quality of your inbox, but I get it, it’s not for everyone. Don’t come cryin’ to me when the “roses are red…” campaigns hit send.

2 — NYC Pet Peeves As Of 7:29am Monday Morning: This one makes me giggle. Sometimes I have lists of things in my head that don’t quite count as content but certainly can’t just sit in my brain and ferment, lord no. And don’t sit there and tell me you don’t research apartments in other cities every time you come into physical contact with another human being’s hair, I won’t believe you.

1 — The Curse Of The Copywriter Brain: Here she is, the worst one. This piece was a lament about my own inability to stop judging the subject lines of others, and you know what, I’m glad I reread it. We’re almost in “new year, new you” territory and I needed to steel myself. I do find it interesting that this audience has little interest in what I think about my work as a copywriter, and perhaps I’ll take that knowledge with me into the new year. I am nothing if not a fan of data.

Or I’ll just keep writing whatever I want, whenever I want, because I love writing, and as long as there is breath in my lungs, mobility in my fingers, and wifi in my apartment, that’s what I’ll do. Happy New Year.

NPR once called me a humor essayist, let’s go with that. Host of A Single Serving Podcast. shanisilver[at]gmail

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