I got a heart-sinking rejection email from an editor this month. I had written a few posts for an entertainment website and was quite proud of my work - showcasing a different angle there. But my writing style had not performed well - traffic wise - and they don’t have the budget to keep me as a regular writer. I actually haven’t had a rejection from a pitch for a long time - and I’ve been feeling very fragile, so this was a hard email to read.
And then I got over myself. I thought about some truths. That rejection wasn’t so bad. This is what a rejection letter taught me:
I hadn’t felt confident writing articles for that publication anyway. Well, my writing was good, and my ideas were original, but I couldn’t conform to their Buzzfeed-like style. Pop culture isn’t really my thing anymore. I prefer to delve into bigger issues, write more words and make an impact by getting people thinking about diversity.
I dabbled, but didn’t make a splash there. And that’s ok. I don’t have to be good at every style of writing.
I spent a long time researching and writing for not very much return. I can put my time to other things like creating a super blogging course.
It might have been another byline, but it’s ok that I’m not a regular at that website. That opportunity can go to other writers. There’s enough Internet for everybody.
While I am time-poor, I should play on my strengths, research and write what I enjoy, and focus on my area of expertise. And it’s ok if my writing style doesn’t match the style of that website. I don’t have to push myself if I can’t.
I write for fun and a bit of extra pocket money. When it stops being fun, I can stop. I am lucky to have that privilege.
I’m having success at pitching myself to brands as well as pitching articles to editors. I hadn’t had the confidence to do this until recently - and I’ve had so much success partnering with brands for the Australian Ichthyosis Meet.
Just because my writing style doesn’t suit a website, it doesn’t mean I’m not a good writer.
Most of my pitches elsewhere are accepted and get a great response from readers. I’ve won some awards. And I've helped people see a different perspective. For that I can be proud.
What has a knock-back taught you?