Tips for Writers

Rejection is tough so get tougher

As an editor for several New York City magazines and newspapers, I worked with many fine staff writers. Most of my dealings with them were mutually respectful. The best of them accepted my editorial suggestions yet, if necessary, could defend their choices without rancor.

On the other hand, some freelance writers would bristle with indignation when I rejected their article. One writer demanded to know why his submission was not acceptable. Needless to say, I did not add him to my list of freelancers.

He did not understand that rejection does not necessarily reflect the quality of a writer’s work. Instead, other editorial considerations determine an article’s suitability for publication:

  1. Has a similar article been published or been scheduled for a future issue?
  2. Is it suitable for the target audience?
  3. Is it written in the style and voice of the publication?
  4. Is the topic timely?

Editors seldom provide more than a brief explanation for rejecting an article; they are simply too busy.

Rejection is tough. Writers put in many hours perfecting a story and wholeheartedly expect someone will publish it, so  it is disheartening when expectation does not meet reality.

Truth is, writers need a tough skin. Think of yourself as a salesperson. Not everyone will want or need your product. If Customer #1 says, “no,” move on to Customer #2. Don’t waste time trying to convince a reluctant buyer.

Many famous authors faced rejection; it is the price for admission to the world of writing/publishing.

Unless, you choose to write a blog where you are the decision-maker about what and how you write, develop a rapport with those editors whose publications reach your target audience.





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