What were you doing on Thanksgiving Day 2007? I remember that day very clearly, because it changed my life. Not just because of the stroke-inducing stuffing, or the smo-fry turkey incident, or even the fact that all four of my grandparents chose that day to come out of the closet at once, and in a choreographed tap number no less, but because of one post on this website. This was it.
That was the annual "Thank You" message that Cracked runs every year at this time. These messages are also invitations for new writers to join, though that one wasn't so much an invitation as it was a dare. "ARE YOU FUNNY, OR OTHERWISE HAVE SOMETHING INTERESTING TO SAY? PROVE IT." Of course I was funny, anyone who could see the Groucho glasses hot-glued to my butt would know that instantly. So before the turkey hit the table, I responded. In the thread where you say you want in on the Cracked party, this was what I said:
Be sure not to rip your appendectomy scar from laughing so hard, please. Or at least do the chair the courtesy of standing before you pee-laugh all over it. I was let into the Cracked writer's club, and once in, it didn't take too many posts for me to mention LOOK AT ME, A GIRL! and, I kid you not, pitch an entire article about euphemisms for getting your period. The only way I could have had a rougher start would have been suggesting we change our named to "Zacked" and make the whole site about the Top X Ways We've All Been Zack Attacked.
You know, when used in combination with this picture, that phrase takes on a whole new, disturbing meaning.
Still, Cracked wanted me. By the time my first article was published on December 18, 2007, I was obsessed with the site. In between homeschooling my kids and working on a diabetes vaccine, I pitched article after article, with only a handful making it through our editorial process. I wrote at night and on the weekends, while my kids played on the beach and during their piano lessons and when they tried to talk to me. I asked for advice and stalked my favorite Cracked writers and scrutinized every single editorial change made to my articles. Before you knew it, I had internalized the Cracked voice and, after having several articles published, I was approached about editing other people's articles as well.
I didn't have time to shave my hands -- back off.
And then, HAND TO GOD, Cracked straight up made me a full-time editor. And that's the story of how an ex-kindergarten teacher slash homeschooling mother slash glamour model became a full-time boner joke writer. Brother, you haven't lived until you try to explain that career path at a PTA meeting.
Flash forward to Thanksgiving Day 2011 ... and I get to write the annual Thanksgiving message. The same message that brought me here four years ago. I thought about doing it in the form of a rap, but I couldn't find my dark sunglasses, so here we are. Between a new career and giving me a chance to invent about 40 new versions of the word "penis," Cracked completely changed my life. And like everyone else writing for the site, I'm so, so grateful.
Though I'm still not used to my office.
But enough about me. What can Cracked do for you?
We can give you access to millions of readers. Sometimes hundreds of millions. Sometimes millions of millions (sources pending). We have one writer, for example, who joined the workshop in May of 2009. His thing was history. Just loooooved it. At this point Jacopo della Quercia articles have generated over 100 million views combined. Do you understand those numbers? I don't. But I know that there are European countries that don't have that many people. And that there are fewer miles from the Earth to the sun than there are hits on Jacopo's articles. In the last calendar year, Cracked.com has received 2.5 billion page views. Billion, with a "b." Put that in your lip and chew it for a while.
So what are you passionate about? Music? Human psychology? Pro wrestling? Video games? Anime? Pokemon? European history? NASCAR? Politics? Comics? Movies? MMA? Cars? Dolphin sex? We're not here to judge. Whatever it is, Cracked can give you a platform, and we'll even help you with the funny bits. Name one other site where an unpublished, untested writer can get access to half as many regular readers as Cracked, barring the use of time machines or pornography. We dare you. It can't be done. Oh, and it pays.
We will literally make money shoot out of your crotch.
At Cracked, we've created a home for aspiring writers to develop their craft, and anyone can join. Anyone. Ex-cons, fatties, cross-eyed people, lawyers, anyone.
That's right, even you!
All you have to do is sign up, read the guidelines and get started. It costs nothing. There are no requirements. If you try to boast about your resume and all the experience you have, we'll ignore you. We don't care. Everybody gets in. We only care if you have interesting things to say, whether you're a high school kid or a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist.
What do you have to lose? Your dignity? Too late ... you're avoiding your family on Thanksgiving Day. Do you think a million people are going to line up to shake your hand for that? No way. We won't promise that the process will be raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, but we can promise that not joining the Cracked Writer's Group will probably keep you on the same path you're on right now, whatever it may be.
We're assuming it has something to do with filth and screaming.
So if you're ready for a change, ready to take a chance, ready to work with a group of writers who care as much about this site as your mom cares about how that sweet potato casserole is coming along:
If you work hard, follow the rules and do good work, we're going to get you millions of readers. Millions. Come on in. It'll be fun.