The same power-that-be who I had presented myself to for about 45 minutes regarding ghostwriting financial content had put the ad back out there. Obviously, he didn't select me.
The tough nut to crack on this one is why does the rejection hurt so much even though I no longer need the work. I have enough right now and may for some time. Thanks to an executive coach, I fled glut areas dominated by Millennials. I renewed my credentials in finance and technology. Along the way I even picked up a free certificate in financial writing funded by McGraw-Hill because of my interest in aging.
So, why the extreme pain? After all, rejection goes with the writing territory. I have some theories.
Because writing comes out of us, not an algorithm developed by engineers and computers, it is personal, even if we grow up and know "it's all business." That power-that-be gave my soul the thumbs-down. That's one reason I took it hard.
Another reason is that creativity is a peculiar entity. Sometimes it emerges. Sometimes it doesn't. And when it's not there that's obvious. I wonder if I was "off" that day of the interview in my ability to communicate fresh ideas. Could well be. That fills me with fear. Is our best writing behind us?
A third reason for the extreme pain might be that, in my head, I had already spent all the money I had made over the years through that assignment. The vacation cottage for family and friends in Rhode Island had been bought. My credit card debt had been paid off. Dental implants for three missing teeth had been purchased. My neighbor three floors down so appreciated the fine dinner and theatre performance in Manhattan I treated her to for listening for seven years about my professional angst.
In the future, there will be more rejections. There will be more pain. And I will, just as the late Nora Ephron did, mine it for copy. Nothing can beat the writing life.