Five Ways to Get over Rejection
Today we’re going to talk about rejection. It’s not a fun topic, but it’s something that is important to discuss, because as a newbie freelancer (and even as an established freelancer!), rejection happens a lot.
But it’s normal, even expected, and it’s something you will have to get used to if you’re going to make it in the freelance writing business.
To help you succeed, we’ve come up with five ways to get over rejection so you can persevere with confidence.
1. Remember that rejection isn’t personal. Just because you receive a rejection doesn’t mean that the editor thinks your pitch sucked. There could be a multitude of reasons why it didn’t work, including they already have a story like it lined up, another competing magazine has recently published a similar article, the magazine is focusing on Europe when you pitched an Asia story, and the list goes on. Editors are so busy, they don’t always have time to tell you why your idea wasn't a fit.
2. Look at rejection as building a relationship. Editors are inundated with query letters from freelancers, and therefore most query letters they receive go unanswered. If you do get a response, it means that even if they couldn’t use that idea, that they are open to building a relationship with you. Pitch them again with a new idea right away.
3. Consider it a numbers game. Are you sending out one or two queries a month and then waiting with baited breath? I’m sorry to tell you that as a new writer, you’ll need to send more queries to get more acceptances. Not only does writing more queries improve your query writing skills, simple statistics tell us that the more you try, the better your chances at succeeding.
4. Be prepared with a backup market. If your idea is rejected, don’t give up, be prepared with a backup market to send the same idea to immediately. You may need to adjust the query slightly to fit the style of the new market, but if you strongly believe in your story, just keep on sending it until you get a favorable response.
5. Re-examine your query. If you’ve sent the same idea to multiple editors and you’re still receiving rejections, it’s time to re-examine your query. Is it engaging? Is it written in the style of the magazine you’re pitching? Or heaven forbid, does it have any typos? If you’re not sure about it, send it to us as part of the pitch training. We’ll give you some constructive criticism that will help you take your pitch to the next level that will perhaps finally get it noticed by editors.