When people ask me what it’s like to be a freelance writer, one of the first things I tell them is that you have to be able to take a lot of rejection. And I mean a lot of rejection. Rejection today is different than when I first started out freelancing. I used to pitch and article idea, and someone would accept it or tell me no thanks. Today, many jobs want you to do some degree of work first. It’s not enough just to show clips anymore. Recently for jobs I’ve applied for, I’ve had to come up with: a top ten list, three sample articles, an outline of article ideas, two sample blog posts, and a bunch more stuff I’m sure you don’t want to hear about. There are a couple reasons why employers today ask for so much garbage. First off, they can. There is a lot of competition, so they don’t have to just browse through your resume, they can ask you to write up some special samples just for them. I don’t usually do this, but then again I enjoy getting a steady paycheck and this is one of those periods where I could use the extra money. So I’ve been doing it.
Next, a lot more people are hiring freelancers, and quite frankly, they aren’t always sure what they are looking for. Finally, if you try and pitch articles, sometimes you have to write up a query that takes as much time as the article itself. But hey, I knew the freelance life wouldn’t be easy.
Normally I let it all roll off my back. I can get told “no” and “absolutely no” and “no way on God’s green earth” and I take it all in stride and it doesn’t get to me. Today? Not so much. I’m crabby. Tired. (As opposed to “sick and tired.”) And I suppose I’m not in the mood to be rejected. I don’t have time for it, people!
So here’s what I’m considering to help me deal with my lousy mood:
Playing with my dog.
My dog can distract me from just about anything. One reason I love dogs, they are very empathetic. If I want to have a good cry or run around like a monkey my dog jumps right in and joins me.
Getting away from work.
On a day like today I may get off the computer entirely or do something totally unrelated to work. Online Scrabble anyone? Cake Mania?
Baking brings out the happy in me. I could open a bakery tomorrow.
This makes me feel better about the world in general. No matter how “messy” my professional life, at least my closets can be organized!
Calling up a friend.
The online world is a great place, but there is nothing like hearing my pal’s voice.
Taking a nap.
If I’m frustrated to the point of exhaustion, sometimes a quick 20-minute snooze helps get my energy back.
There’s nothing like wiping your hands clean of the world and asking God to just: help you, make it better, give you some direction, recharge your spirit, and on and on.
Telling someone who knows exactly what you are going through.
This is where having friends who are writers can really help. While your other pals will be sympathetic, there is nothing like a friend that goes through the same garbage you do everyday.
I’m not too sure which one of these I will choose today. But I’ll pick a few and let you know what worked to get me out of the rejection blues.
Lewis Faulkner says
What a wonderful, honest article!
I am a writer, too, and how write/right you are.
Thanks for relating. Only another writer can really know what constant rejection feels like. I appreciate your comment!