The ONE Piece of Writing Advice that Made All the Difference
[image description: a stack of books on a wooden table beside a notebook open to a blank page with a pen on top of it.]
Note: This post contains an affiliate link for a course I believe in wholeheartedly.
So much of the writing life is solitary. It’s just you at your computer or with your notebook churning out your work. Part of the reason I like freelancing so much is that it makes writing a little less solitary––you write shorter pieces and send them out for feedback and you’re in contact with the editors who want to publish you. Freelancing is a kind of community.
Though sometimes when you’re getting one rejection after another, which you inevitably will at some point in your writing career, it doesn’t feel like a community. Rejections can make you feel more lonely and solitary than ever.
Awhile back, I was in a massive dry spell. I was writing and submitting and racking up a ton of rejections. It was especially demoralizing because I knew I was producing good work and I was researching the magazines I submitted to and only choosing the one or two that made the most sense to submit to. I thought this thoughtful approach was the way to go and was confused when that didn’t turn out to be the case in practice.
Disheartened, I reached out to my writing group, See Jane Write, which I’ve been a part of since 2011. I explained my approach and how I was obsessively checking my email for any updates from editors and was getting depressed with each inbox refresh that yielded no news––or worse, another rejection. What am I doing wrong?? I lamented.
The founder of See Jane Write, the fabulous Javacia Harris Bowser, shared her wisdom and showed me that I was thinking about it all wrong. She explained that by only submitting to a handful of publications, even thoughtfully considered ones, I was able to keep the short list of publications in my mind and obsess over them. She encouraged me to submit to so many magazines that when I got rejections I’d think to myself, “Oh. Such-And-Such Magazine rejected me. Oh well, I forgot I submitted to them anyway.”
In short: Submit and move on. Don’t obsess, don’t click refresh on your inbox every few minutes, and keep submitting even amid the rejections because the more you submit the more likely you are to get accepted. It’s truly a numbers game.
To be clear, you want to keep a list of everywhere you submit so you can keep tabs on who has your work under consideration. But the goal is to submit to so many places that you’re not able to memorize the whole list of every single magazine you’ve submitted to and obsess over it.
I took Javacia’s advice and, like every piece of advice Javacia has given me over the past 8 years, it was spot on. I can now submit my work and even receive rejections with a much healthier attitude. Where rejection and waiting used to depress me and make me think about quitting writing, nowadays it hardly fazes me.
This one little piece of wisdom made all the difference in my writing life, which is why I’m super excited that Javacia has created an entire course to help both aspiring and established freelancers level up their writing game. It’s called See Jane Freelance!
In this course, you’ll learn
journalism jargon so you can confidently speak like an industry professional
why you should blog and how to get started
how to never run out of story ideas
how to find publications that pay
why writing for local media outlets could be your key to success
how to pitch like a pro
how to conduct research and interviews
how to network with other writers and why you should
why writers should think like an influencer
social media tips and tricks for writers
how to write clean, compelling copy that will make you an editor's favorite writer
how to turn your life into a story that sells
how to manage your money and your mindset
PLUS, you'll get access to exclusive interviews with editors and fellow writers discussing a variety of topics including:
how to write for your favorite websites
how to pitch to city magazine editors
how to sell a story to a major national magazine
how to break into writing for trade publications
how to nail down your writing niche
how to supplement your income with copywriting
That last interview is with me! That’s right, you get my wisdom too.
Even though the course is already SUPER affordable and you can make your investment back with just one or two freelance assignments, you can use code MANDY19 for 25% off when you enroll.
Enrollment ends October 1st, so don’t wait! I’m just an email or comment away if you have any questions. I hope to see you there! xo