Writing Rants: Rejection

I got rejected today and so decided to blog about it.

It’s not the first time and probably won’t be the last time.

Rejection is just part of the business

I tend not to get very upset when I send stuff to publishers/agents/magazines and receive a politely worded, but generic, letter back saying that what I write isn’t quiet for them. Or even when I send something in and never hear from them again. It doesn’t feel personal because it isn’t. I’m aware there are probably hundreds of writers submitting to that agent/publisher/magazine and can appreciate that there will be a high level of competition. I also understand that a lot of it comes down to personal taste. So I can, hand on heart, say that this kind of rejection doesn’t upset me too much. I usually just feel disappointed.

To be honest, I’ve often struggled to understand why writers take rejection so hard. My attitude has always been, get up, be proud that you had the guts to submit something in the first place, that took a lot of confidence. Now is the time to either find somewhere else to send to or write something new and shiny. I’m a big fan of the quote “Success is 99% failure”, and the idea that successful people are not the ones who got accepted first go, they are the people who got rejected and rejected and rejected, but they kept going. Even Stephen King and J.K.Rowling got rejected.

I’ve always been quite pleased with my realistic take on rejection.

Then I woke up this morning to a different kind of rejection.

Personal Rejection

As some of you may already be aware from previous blogs, I made a pretty epic change to my lifestyle in June/July. I quit working full time in the office (I now only do three days a week as a Paralegal). I spend the rest of my time working on my new project LawCat and working as a freelance writer, fitting in my usual writing projects as and when I can.

I get all of my freelance writing work through various companies, where clients post briefs and then writers pitch for them. I’ve been very fortunate that the majority of the work I pitch for is awarded to me.  Even more fortunate that the work I hand in generally gets a positive review and a high rating (writers get rated out of 10).

So this morning when I switched on trusty Alfred (yup, my laptop has a name, and yup he is named after batman’s butler) to see that the latest job I had submitted had been ultimately declined (no revision requests, no low rating, no explanation, just flat out rejected). My stomach wound itself into a little knot and has yet to unwind.

I now understand why writers get upset at rejection

I have spent the entire morning, and most of the afternoon, trying to figure out why. Why was it rejected? I was quite pleased with it when I sent it in, confident that it would get accepted and that the client would be happy. What did I do wrong? What happens now that the customer isn’t happy with it? Will I be blacklisted? Will I get any more jobs? What didn’t the client like? Did I misread the brief? Did I not understand what the client wanted? Am I stupid? Should I be doing this at all?

I have contacted the company I wrote for and asked what happens when a piece is declined. The staff were lovely and explained that it would be reviewed by one of their editors and then I will get an email. Hopefully, the email will answer my questions and explain what happens now.

The little Voice

I admit a lot of my concerns are about how this will affect future jobs. But not all of my concerns are about this. My confidence has taken a bigger punch to the gut that I would like to admit. I have another job currently waiting for approval from a different client, and all the little voices in my head keep telling me that this one will get rejected as well.

“It isn’t as good as the last one, and that got rejected, this one has no hope,”

“Who are you to think you could do this for a living? What kind of fantasy land do you live in?”

“ Why would anyone want to read something you write? You don’t know anything; you’re not interesting, you don’t have a voice.”

“No other client will ever want to work with you; you should delete your account and go find a job where you don’t have to think.”

“Just give up.”

“You can’t even write 500 words correctly.”

ALL THIS FROM ONE REJECTION!

Admittedly, it was a slightly more personal rejection than what I am used to, but still. What is wrong with my confidence? Am I that fragile that one rejection can cripple me for the whole day?

Yes. Apparently, I am.

But tomorrow I won’t be. Tomorrow I will be stronger.

After all, it’s just one rejection.

(Unless the email comes through telling me I’m rubbish, then it might take me two days).

EDIT

Since writing this blog, I have come to the conclusion that Writers boards such as Upwork, etc. are not the best way to have a freelance writing career. They pay extremely low rates for the demanding work involved, and there are much more lucrative ways to be a Freelance writer.

Don’t forget Katie Marie wrote a Book. A big one and a couple of little ones. Check them out!

 

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4 thoughts on “Writing Rants: Rejection

  1. I agree with C.S. Rejections DO suck monkey balls, and as writers we have the tenancy to take things super personally. One thing I’ve found that helps – albeit a little – is to think of my writing as a BUSINESS. Because that’s just what it is. If my pitch gets rejected, that is no reflection on me as a person. My writing was not what the client was looking for, someone else got to the bid before me, blah blah blah. I have to tell myself it is the BUSINESS they are rejecting, not ME. Easier said than done, I know. But the more I replace the negative self-talk with positive talk, the happier I am. It is a learned skill that I wish I knew in my teens and 20s!

    Just out of curiosity, where are you pitching clients? Elance? People per hour? I’m always looking to expand my offerings. Thanks! 😀

    • Thank you, I agree with you regarding thinking of writing as a business. I think the reason this one got to me as much as it did when usually I can deal with rejection without getting my confidence smashed to bits is because I had already won the pitch and clarified points with the client. It only got rejected after I had done the article. But like you said its business not personal and that’s how we should look at it.

      I tend to pitch on Scripted and getacopywriter, I get a lot of work from getacopywriter and the staff are very helpful. I pick up less from Scripted but the staff are just as nice 🙂

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