Rejection is a big part of the freelance writing world, especially when you’re first starting out and trying to establish yourself.
As writers, having our work rejected is a lot like someone telling us our baby is ugly. It’s our word art, arranged just so, and it’s hard not to take it personally.
Though I’ve been a writer for several years, I’ve only now just started to try and make a living from it. So I am in the thick of rejection, as I try to hone my writing skills and find my place.
As writers, having our work rejected is a lot like someone telling us our baby is ugly.
I am working around the busy schedule of my family, so it can be disheartening to get so many rejections as I work in the nooks and crannys of the day.
But I have not stopped trying. The rejections in fact, have fueled me to try even harder.
Here are five ways I have found to overcome rejection in the freelance writing world.
1. Don’t Stop Pitching
I don’t stop pitching long enough to really feel rejected. I am mindful of who I am pitching to, and I take care in finding a good match, but I keep the train moving.
I always have a few extra irons in the fire somewhere so I can look forward to future possibilities if something doesn’t work out.
2. Know It’s Not Personal
I have pitched to both paying and non-paying publications for exposure and experience.
Large publications are inundated with submissions, so sometimes the sun, moon and the stars have to be aligned just right for it to happen.
I have had several posts accepted, but I sometimes feel like Goldilocks in knowing what will hit and what won’t.
I’ve had a post rejected because it had too much of me in it, and a few others because they didn’t have enough of me in it. From the same publication (different editors.) Sometimes it’s fish in a barrel, but I keep shooting.
3. Know Someone Needs What You’re Saying
Sometimes it just takes time to find that audience. I’ve reworked rejected articles for use on my personal blog, and they were some of my most successful posts.
Your writings are still valuable whether they fit specific editorial needs or not, and someone out there needs to hear what you are saying. Keep going!
4. Write To Help People, Not SEO
The articles I wrote to simply get accepted and gain exposure for myself were not successful. I changed my voice to suit an audience I desired, and it didn’t work out.
My greatest joy is helping people from my own life experience. These are by far my most popular posts because they speak to people. And that keeps me on track to remember why I fell in love with writing to begin with.
I once had a post only get 100 hits from my personal blog, but it had over 70 shares. I’d call that a win over a post with 10,000 hits and no comments or shares any day.
Write for people. Not just SEO.
5. Take The Focus Off Of Yourself
Yes, really. I block out a specific period of time every day where I do nothing but read and promote the work of others.
I comment on great posts, and I share them on social media. I don’t do it willy-nilly either, I find stuff I genuinely like and give credit where it’s due. If you get a compliment from me, it’s real.
I think a lot of times we just assume someone that’s been writing or singing for a long time just knows they’re good at it. But that isn’t always the case.
This is also a great way to take the pressure off of myself and learn what other people are doing. It never hurts to build relationships with others in your field, no matter what stage you’re in.
I am continually pitching and looking for a consistent home. I know it will happen. And I know that rejection is a continual part of working as a freelance writer.
I’m not saying I’ll never be disappointed. But I’ll always keep trying.
What do you do to overcome rejection as a freelance writer? Let us know in the comment section.