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Writer Rejection: Turn It Into a Positive

Rejection in the freelance writing sector is something you simply can’t avoid.

Even the most renowned freelance writers have experienced rejection and failure on the way to dominating within their industry.

Being tenacious in the face of rejection—instead of throwing in the towel—can lead to your writing career thriving instead of crumbling.

If you're feeling down about being turned down and experiencing a dozen knock-backs in a row, it's high-time to explore a few ways to deal with writer rejection.

Bear in mind, business is business.

Taking rejection personally is the worst thing you can do.

Separate your self-worth from your business results. If your self-confidence is impacted by every business dealing, you’re likely going to have a tough time moving forward.

Remember, starting and running a freelance writing business is a series of ups and downs for everyone. Experiencing a low doesn’t mean you’re a terrible writing business owner.

Maybe your pitch was rejected because of budget reasons.

Maybe your proposal was rejected because your experience isn’t what a company needs right now.

Ultimately, business is about dollars and cents. And if a person or company declines working with you for a personal reason, you probably don’t want to work with them anyway.

When you think about it in this way, each rejection feels less like a personal failure and more like a business partnership that simply wasn’t the right fit.

Don’t be hard-headed. Learn from feedback.

Often a rejection doesn’t come with a reason.

When I began as a freelance writer, most of my rejection was accompanied with complete silence.

No response. No feedback.

If I’m lucky enough to get a response back, it’s usually the basic, “thanks, but no thanks.”

If someone does happen to give you feedback, work through it and consider making some adjustments to what you’re pitching and how you’re pitching it.

Always be open to constructive criticism.

After all, that’s how you grow and improve for the next time around.

Keep going until it gets easier.

The first few rejections are usually the hardest.

Even anticipating the first rejection can be terrifying.

A writing business feels like our baby. We birth it, nurture it, and then share it with the world hoping that other people will swoon.

If the reception is lukewarm, it can be devastating.

Know that the first few times you experience rejection are the hardest, and you’ll develop a thicker skin.

Rejection doesn’t mean your idea is terrible or that your writing business is doomed.

You may need to go back to the drawing board to refine your target customer and to tailor your writing service offerings to a group of people who appreciate your skills and what you do.

Each rejection is actually leading you closer and closer to the right business model, customers, and partnerships.

Hang in there!

We always hear the stories of other writers who fail their way to success.

Believe me, it’s all great in theory.

But when you’re down in the trenches experiencing rejection and failure for yourself, the story is a little less romantic.

The one big consolation is knowing you’re not alone.

Your peers and other writing service owners that you admire face rejection as well.

Accept it, appreciate feedback, make pivots when necessary, and continue to push forward.

Handling rejection this way is what separates freelance writing business owners who give up feeling defeated and those who use setbacks to build a successful writing service.


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