Rejection is unfortunately a part of life. But for writers, it can sometimes happen on a daily basis. Getting a rejection letter can be stressful, and may even make you question your abilities as a writer. While hearing “No” is par for the course as writing professional, there are still things that can be done to help you learn from the process, and to improve this often uncomfortable situation. Here are tips to assist you in the pitching process and to help make the sting of rejection more manageable. As a writer at any stage in your career, you will inevitably get a rejection letter. While this is a professional causality, it can bruise your ego and hurt your feelings in the process. However, the quicker you are able to develop thick skin, the better equipped you will be to deal with rejection in the long run.
Getting used to criticism, and having your ideas rejected, can be an adjustment. But once you make this change, you will see an improvement in how you react to this situation. While there is no right way to handle rejection (and this is certainly easier said than done), being able to hear it, process it and move on, without being reactionary, is one of the healthiest things you can learn to do as a writing professional. You just sent out a pitch, and got a rejection email. In this situation, be grateful you heard back. Editors are busy people juggling multiple writers. Sometimes a story just isn’t the right fit for the publication. However, if an editor took the time to write back, read the email carefully and be sure to follow up. Ask for feedback on the pitch: why it didn’t work for them and how it can be improved. Another possible course of action is to ask the editor if they are looking for stories on specific topics.
Once you receive a response, incorporate the feedback into your next pitch. Remember, just because one editor turned down a story, doesn’t mean your piece won’t find a home. And ultimately, getting feedback on your pitch could lead to a stronger working relationship with an editor and the publication or website they are associated with.
Turn a negative into a positive, Don’t get discouraged when your pitch isn’t accepted. You can still turn the situation around, and as a freelance writer, sometimes you have to be a creative problem solver. Looking for an unexpected story idea, spotting a trend before it catches on, trying to place your story with a different publication, or just simply emailing an editor to see if they are taking on freelance pieces, could work to your advantage. Being creative is a valuable skill to have, and while your pitch may not have landed in the exact publication you imagined it in, after some tweaking, it may end up with a home after all.
Think positively, Thinking positively can sometimes make all the difference when pitching. If you are more confident in your writing skills, this will come across in the pitches you are putting out. Be excited about the story ideas you come up with and convey that in the emails you send out. A little positive energy can go a long way. By adjusting the way you think, this may help you yield more positive results.