Thursday, July 15, 2010

Some Writing Rejections Hurt Less--Thankfully

There it was sitting innocently in my inbox, the reply to my FanHouse NFL pre-season coverage application. Slightly excited, I open the email. Meh. Rejection.

As far as form letter writing rejections go, the note was pleasant. It stated that the site was likely to go with staff writers, instead of through applications. (I read this as the cream of the crop may get the gig.) They will keep my resume on file (I hope they really do) and will use it to evaluate me for other opportunities (again, fingers crossed). I will be updated of further opportunities. (The cynic in me guesses this will be via Seed assignment listings, but I could be wrong.) All-in-all a personable rejection that listed reasons and left a glimmer of hope. LOVE that.

Did this rejection bum me out? Sure. They always do, for about 2.5 minutes. Okay, slightly longer than that. I did receive the news Tuesday morning and waited a couple days to post on it. It's been said time and again, but you need to develop layers of thick skin as a writer.  These layers are often papered with the many rejections you are likely to get. You learn to be slightly thankful for the nice ones.

By nice rejections I don't just mean the polite "we're going in a different direction." I include any rejections that include specifics. No writer is perfect for every gig or assignment they apply for, just as an article won't jive with every publication it's pitched to. When an editor takes the time to point out how you or your article doesn't fit, internalize and learn from that advice.

Listen to any critiques on style or voice. This can help you as a writer and gives you better guidelines to go by, if you choose to query the publication again. If missing the gig is a matter of too little experience, you know where the bar is set and have something to reach for. Nice rejections can be turned into positive lessons in your writing career.

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