Two days ago I received a form rejection note for something I refer to as "Job Fair" (again with the title problems...) from a place I was sure was perfect for it. It seems every time I think I've found my genre, and a magazine that publishes it, I get kicked out of the club.
"Job Fair" is a flash fiction, under 500 words. In one impactful scene, it evokes the frustration, misery, heartache and worry caused by the economic climate and, in a more personal way, my overly prolonged job search. (I actually gave up for a while, focusing instead on getting pieces published.) So, it's a piece about rejection, that's being rejected over and over again. Just a little too a propos.
I have a special relationship with "Job Fair" because it's the first creative writing that hit me like a bolt from above since about the year 2002. (Those literature PhD degrees really take the creative time and energy out of a person.) I remember buzzing with it for a few days, to the bemusement of my now-husband, who'd never seen anything like my creative process before.
I wrote it in April of 2009, inspired by the job search I had been unsuccessfully carrying on for more than two years at the time. I'd had some nibbles, but I still haven't reeled anything in, even now during my renewed efforts. I felt that the topic would be irresistibly current for any lit mag and began sending "Job Fair" out immediately. So far, they've resisted.
It's hard not to identify with one's stories. It's hard not to see this double rejection (jobs, and a story about the job search) as a double rejection of any contribution I might be able to make to the working world and of my darling children, my writings.
But we must carry on. Just as I have to find a job in order to survive on the physical plane, so too must I keep the faith about my sweet little story if I'm to continue as a "Famous Writer." I've already sent "Job Fair" somewhere else. Go, little story, go! Try for all you're worth!