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When a Publication turns you down

Since signing up for the online edition of Writer’s Market, I have had access to thousands of publications that accept work from freelance writers. While I usually send out three or so queries per week, my acceptance rate has not been very high as of late. It can be disappointing to get turned down, but you need to keep one thing in mind: this is not a direct slam against you or your work. In many cases a publication may have enough freelance work for the time being, or your idea may have been covered in the recent past.

When a publication turns you down, it is important that you do not forget about them in the future. I have two folders on my computer. One is full of publications that I have worked with, and the other with those who turned me down in the past. While I always stay in touch with past clients, I do the same with those who told me no. Just because they did not like my idea a few months back does not mean that this will hold true in the future. And in many cases, the editor will send back a note telling me to query again in a few months. If you get this sort of open invitation, it is very important to take advantage of it.

It would be easy to get down on yourself when you receive rejection after rejection. This week alone I have received three emails from publications that I queried. Two of them told me that they recently covered my idea, and the other I am still speaking with. One out of three is not great, but I’ll take it. Would it be easy to get frustrated over this? For sure. I have gone through long draughts in the past where everybody seems to say no. But when I finally land an assignment after those rough times, it feels great!

Wouldn’t it be nice if every query letter resulted in a new job? Sure it would. But this is not realistic. The way that you deal with rejections is an important aspect of your freelance writing career. Do not let this get you down.

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5 Comments »Freelance WritingFebruary 15th, 2008

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