How Rejection Made Me a Better Writer

So here’s the deal: you’ve found a potential client you’d LOVE to write for. You’ve crafted (what you think is) the perfect pitch and you send out an enjoyable yet totally professional email to the editor. You wait. And you wait. And finally there is the return email sitting in your inbox! You excitedly open it to find that nope, they didn’t accept your pitches. And suddenly your stomach falls out of your butt and you deflate as the feeling of rejection slowly sinks in.

I’ve been there. I am there. Hearing a “no” when you’ve put in the time, homework, and effort to construct the ideal query can be ruining. I mean, what do you do?

As a successful freelance writer, you do what you have to do – learn to hear that “no” and use it to your advantage.

Two Mindsets

Dr. Carol Dweck, in her book Mindset, explains the exact reason why some folks hate rejection and why others can simply brush it off. The key to turning “no” into a positive is all in your mind.

First, you have to understand the fixed mindset. A person with this type of mindset believes intelligence is fixed and cannot be increased. A negative response guts them, leaving them feeling powerless.

The second kind of mindset is growth oriented. When this type of person hears a “no,” they use it as a learning opportunity, not as a failure. This type of person is more willing to take risks and their ego is not on the line with each pitch they send out.

As a freelance writer, you’re already a risk taker. You’ve left the comfort of the 9-5 world to forge your own career path. So why let the bastards get you down now?

Using Rejection to Succeed

Fortunately, the editor that rejected my pitches sent me her feedback as well as to why she didn’t accept them. It was as if she was encouraging me to have a growth-oriented mindset.

Ultimately, I learned what they were looking for and now I can come up with a story that works for their publication.

Writers who don’t have a growth-oriented mindset shouldn’t fear rejection. You can learn how to move past the “no” and use rejection to your benefit. It may take a while to learn this strategy, but it will ultimately help you blossom as a freelancer.

How do you deal with hearing “no?”

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