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Since I've arrived in DC last September I've been scraping by, living in a basement off scraps and charity. I've applied for around 200 writing jobs and been rejected from every one, even the corporate hack work I tried for in a fit of desperation. Today I add to that list of failure probably the best job so far: the American Prospect writing fellowship. It always was a Hail Mary longshot—it's probably the most highly-coveted entry-level job for lefty magazine writing—but it still kinda smarts getting rejected from your dream job.

What I'm realizing now is that journalism is a really tough business. I knew it before, I suppose, but it's only sinking in now. It's insular, competitive, nepotistic, in the midst of a painful paradigm shift, and most importantly, there are vastly, vastly many more people who want to do it than could possibly be paid for it.

The only solution, of course, is to keep plugging away, and prepare for a lot more rejection. Likely as not I'm going to be poor for twenty years or more, and I'm okay with that. (I do, however, have two more longshots I haven't been rejected from yet: a New Republic job, and a paid internship at Mother Jones. Worth a shot.)


  1. Well, that will make for two of us. Stick with it! I might have different goals but I sympathize with you for remaining committed to what truly matters to you.

  2. i'm really proud of you, Ryan. it takes a LOT of guts, balls, or whatever you want to call it to follow your dreams. It's easy to settle for mediocrity. I am living with my parents, at age 30, to try and make mine happen. At least you have your own place ;)


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