She was given an opportunity to write for LifeWire, a business unit of The New York Times Company. The assignment was to write a 750 word or less travel article on Family Travel to Aruba. She psyched herself up to write the article but deep down inside, she was not excited about Aruba or writing about family travel. “Quit being so melodramatic,” she thought to herself. “It’s an opportunity to write for The New York Times Company.” Alas, she is like many writers who must “feel” it to write it.
A week later, she receives an e-mail from LifeWire, “your application has been closed and we will not be extending you an offer to write for LifeWire.” Did she unconsciously sabotage her chances of writing for LifeWire? Was her article on Family Travel to Aruba that bad? or Was fate delivering a message that this was not the right opportunity for her? Wasting no time, she moves forward on her path.
How do you overcome rejection? First, do not take it personally. Yes, it’s easier said than done. “Emotionally detach” yourself from your writing. It’s not about taking the passion out of your writing, it’s just stepping back and being objective about it. An editor at National Geographic or a local newspaper may reject your travel article, but another editor may accept it. It all depends on the audience, style, and tone of the magazine or newspaper.
Second, rejection can be a great learning tool. Perhaps the editor was kind enough to briefly tell you why your writing was rejected. Take the advice and put more time and effort into honing your writing skills. Sign up for a class or two, join a writing group, and scour the internet for blogs and articles on rejection.
“You have to know how to accept rejection and reject acceptance.” – Ray Bradbury
Links to Rejecting Rejection
- Speak Coffee to Me. An aspiring writer’s tale of rejection.
- Associated Content. Offers great information on “how to deal with rejection.”
- Writing-World. Find out how to cope with rejection.
- Vigorous Writing. “Writing advice from the Greats Series: Ray Bradbury.”
Media Bistro. Sign up for the Travel Writing Boot Camp from Media Bistro. This online course is taught by a Lonely Planet editor who will show you “how to write and sell your articles.” You may be interested in The Whole Freelancer (4 week) course as well. Check them out today!
Finally, do not let rejection get you down. It can sting at first, but you will survive. It’s not like rejection is a life threatening disease! It’s just a “bump” on your travel writing road. Get over it, go around it, and continue on your path; you’ll arrive soon enough. In the meantime, enjoy the adventure. You never know who you will meet along the way!