I once had an obsession with REDBOOK. I was a subscriber for years and kept every issue. When we moved we paid to have the mover move a box of Redbooks five ft tall.I was sure that if I kept reading the wonderful Redbook stories I'd learn to write one.
In a Humanities class I was taking at the time our final assignment was to either paint a picture, compose a piece of music - hello - I didn't know one note from another - or aha! write a short story. Well I could do that and here was my chance to write my Redbook story.
I labored over the story honing and honing to make it a short short. It was brilliant.
I got an A. So I hurled it off to Redbook AND OMG they didn't recognize that it was written for them and they sent it back the very next day with nary a sign it had been opened. No handwritten note - no editorial coffee stain. I shrunk up to the size of a walnut - not really but I like that vision of myself - and put it away in my stuffed-with-stories desk drawer.
Next day I saw an ad in The Writer Magazine. CAT FANCY magazine was seeking short stories that featured a cat. Well, my story had a cat in it. I don't know why - I'm not a cat person - but my character Eve LOVED cats. Go figure. I jetted that story off to Cat Fancy posthaste.
So the moral of the story is - if your story does not fit the market you're aiming for - it may fit another.
Writing is as much about marketing as it is about writing - if you want to publish.
The short story form is one of my favorite forms of writing. If you love them too and want to write one, get busy. If I can so can you.