Tuesday, 13 January 2009

#72 – Respond to rejection with a new idea

Or striking while the iron is lukewarm.

Being rejected by editors
For the freelance travel writer, having your ideas rejected by editors is all part of the package. It happens all the time and always has. The key thing is how you respond to that rejection.

Response to rejection
The response for some writers is to take the rejection of one idea as a rejection of all ideas. They will write the publication off, thinking they have no hope of being published there, and will not pitch any more ideas.

Negative responses as a positive
Other writers do it the smart way and see that rejection can be a good thing. It is far better to get a response from an editor than none at all, even if that response is in the negative. If they have taken the trouble to respond, then you are doing something right. OK, so they didn’t like the idea you sent, but that’s not to say they won’t like another one.

Send another idea
So why not send them another one pretty much straight away? You’ve clearly got the editor’s attention, so you may as well strike while the iron is at least lukewarm, if not hot.

Voice of experience
The second one may not get a positive response either, but there’s probably no better time to send it than after the editor has just taken the time to contact you. I speak from experience on this – I’ve got a lot of work through quick follow ups to rejections.

Victory from the jaws of defeat
On another note, when that acceptance does come through as a result of this method, it’s tremendously satisfying - even more so than normal. There’s nothing like snatching victory from the jaws of defeat to improve the mood.


Lara Dunston said...

David! I haven't checked in here for a while as I've been on the road, and not getting access to the internet much these days, but you have such great content here. Fantastic stuff!

Totally agree about rejection - aspiring writers definitely need to see a response (any response!) as a positive.

It baffles me when editors don't respond, and after a couple of silences to my pitches I generally wipe them off. Give me a break, we are all busy. I would love to find an editor who is as busy as me. I take 3 days off a year - most editors have weekends. I see a lack of response as plain rudeness and - frankly - an indication of someone who is unprofessional. When I deal with editors from some of the top magazines and they can respond, then it's very easy to write the others off.

So turning a response - even a negative one - into a positive is something I highly recommend too. Just develop - and then maintain - the relationship. But aspiring writers also need to be aware of the fine line between doing that and being a pain - they need to be careful not to email too much and piss them off! :)

David said...

Thanks for leaving a comment Lara. I agree with pretty much all you say. I get seriously annoyed with not getting a response too, and I always respect the editors that take the time to respond

That said, I have sat on the editor's side of the fence, and I know what the inbox deluge can be like. Thinking about it another way, I don't respond to all the PR drivel I get sent - it simply takes too much time.

Hope you're enjoying the NT - I'm itching to get back there at some point.