Ever wonder if there’s a superpower to help you find great writing jobs?
You know, like some kind of mind-reading technique to help you know what editors want.
Or some sophisticated computer program that learns rapidly and starts writing pitches to help you land more writing jobs. That would be nice, right?
Well, either one would also be the easy way out. And you’re not going to learn anything about the business and craft of freelance writing if you do it that way.
So if you’re struggling to find writing jobs and clients that pay well, what should you do?
Forget everything you might know about left-side brain logic and the most practical path to build your freelance writing business.
That’s what I did when I stumbled across a mind-bending process that really works. It took a little while to wrap my head around the idea.
Now I’m booking more work, landing more long-term clients, getting better-paying writing jobs. And this year is going to be even better.
What’s the mind-bending process to get more writing jobs? Here’s what you need to know:
The universal freelance trigger for ice cream cravings
When I received my first rejection letter, all I wanted to do was wallow in self-doubt with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.
Been there, done that? It’s kind of a universal trigger for freelance writers.
You put your heart and soul into writing the perfect letter of introduction, pitch, or query letter. Then you hear nothing but crickets. Or after a long wait, you get a generic email or form letter in the mail, that says your pitch was rejected.
It’s time to retrain your brain
When you’re new to pitching editors and marketing managers to land freelance writing jobs, it’s easy to second guess yourself. You’re staring at the e-mail or reading that rejection letter thinking:
- I’m not good enough.
- I’m not smart enough.
- I have no business even calling myself a writer.
- I’ll never be able to do this.
OK, so maybe I took those first rejection letters harder than most. It was bad. But you can turn it around if you’re willing to adopt an out-there mindset shift. Rejection doesn’t have to be a bad thing. You can use it to transform your freelance career and get more writing jobs.
Wrap your mind around this mind-bending idea
There’s a common misconception that goes along with rejection that needs to be clarified. Instead of feeling totally defeated when an editor or marketing director rejects your pitch, remember this:
Rejection does not equal failure.”
I repeat, rejection does not equal failure.
You are not the only one receiving a “Thanks, but no thanks” email. We all get them.
Rejections are a part of every writer’s life. It doesn’t matter what you write, how well you write, or anything else.
If you’ve been a freelance writer for a day or a lifetime, rejections come with the territory.
Instead of fearing them, it’s time to change your mind about rejections, and use rejections to get more writing jobs. How do you do that?
- Stop allowing the fear of rejection from holding you back.
- Write a query letter or letter of introduction. Send it off.
- Don’t get hung up on rejection. Keep pitching until you’re fully booked.
Reasons a pitch is rejected…
Before you start second-guessing yourself, recognize there are many reasons a pitch is rejected (and it’s usually not your idea or writing skills) like:
- The publisher nixed the idea, even though the editor liked it
- The query wasn’t clear to the editor/marketing director
- It didn’t make it to the right decision maker at the company/publication
- Your pitch email was deleted in error on a chaotic day for an editor
The list of reasons for a rejection is endless. Assume nothing. Take rejection in stride. And then make this one crazy move…
Set a rejection goal to get more writing jobs
By aiming for rejections, the business of pitching becomes a kind of game. Ask yourself this question: How many more rejections do you need to reach your goal?
If you’ve been struggling to get freelance writing jobs, you probably haven’t thought of those rejection letters this way. I know I didn’t. I used to keep a spoon and a bucket of Ben and Jerry’s on hand just for the occasion. But not any more.
Pick a rejection goal. For example, 10 rejections a week. Or 50 rejections a month. It’s a different way of thinking. But it works. It’s a process goal that will force you to send out more LOIs and more query letters. Set a goal, and get to work.
By the time you hit 100 rejections, or whatever your goal is, you’ll be a better writer. You’ll have more confidence in your skills to pitch ideas. And the more you send out, the higher your chances of getting more writing jobs to help you move up and earn more.
My rejection journey to more freelance writing jobs
Last year I set a personal pitch goal. A pretty wimpy one, in my opinion. Send out 90 pitches. I aimed for 90 winning pitches, not 90 rejections. Of those 90 pitches, 47 were accepted, and nine grew into repeat clients.
Not bad, right? Imagine how much better I could’ve done, had I really challenged myself. In truth, by aiming for pitches instead of rejections, I grew bored partway through the year and stopped before hitting a full hundred.
There’s nothing wrong with a pitch goal. But I challenge you to set a rejection goal this year. It’s a great way to force yourself to work harder, put yourself out there more, and make the odds of landing more writing jobs a lot better for yourself.
Here’s another way to look at this mind-bending idea. If you get 100 rejections this year, how many writing jobs will that translate to. There’s only one way to find out. Ready? Let’s do this.
Have you used rejection to get more writing jobs? Leave a comment and let’s discuss.
Beth Casey is a B2B writer living in Maine. She writes about business, digital marketing, health, and technology