Every writer gets rejected at one time or another, even seasoned writers. They are the first to complain that being known is no protection from rejection. Admittedly they are less prone to it than those of us aspiring to success are but those are the vagaries of the publishing business. Once you send off that submission it’s a waiting game even for working writers. I have a friendly editor who knows my work but I still have to wait two to three months to hear whether or not my work has been accepted.
Even that friendly editor decided that a piece I wrote about my grandson wasn’t right for his magazine. That’s the thing – if you’re aiming for a particular publication you need to study your market. Ask for their guidelines, see what they say about who gets in and who doesn’t. Sometimes your piece is terrific but you’ve failed to check out the magazine you’re aiming your article at. Pick a magazine that has the sort of articles you yourself feel able to write, then go through it then buy several issues so you are familiar with the format and the issues. Even once you’ve done all that you have to expect the occasional rejection. And you’ll have to work out for yourself why it’s been rejected. Editors are usually quite busy and don’t like to be asked. Also, they rightly feel that if they explain it leaves you a loophole for argument.
There are lots of reasons why, even though you have written something terrific, the piece has boomeranged. Of course sometimes it isn’t as terrific as you think it is which is why it’s a good thing to give yourself some distance from your article and get back to it at a later date. (Although with newspaper submissions that are current topic related there is only a 4 day window of opportunity.) The thing not to do is to give up, either on faith in your writing or confidence in your pieces. Revisit a piece when you’ve had some time to cool off and re-write and re-send it to the same place. Be sure you know it’s a better product. If it’s more of the same then you will have lost the chance at having something else published by that magazine.
Sometimes it’s better to find another place for your piece. Once you have revised it to suit another market, or have decided it’s just fine as it is, send it off. When I wrote a piece about my grandson, Eden, my friendly editor, who usually doesn’t make comments said that if he accepted every article written by doting grandmothers he’d have no room for anything else. It’s a successful magazine, but I think that there’s no room for complacency. I thought it could do with a grandma section but needless to say, I didn’t jeopardise my relationship with this editor who has been really good to me. What I did do, was find another market for Eden. And I’m pleased to report that his story is on a talking book now and giving much pleasure to blind people in Yorkshire.
This isn’t a new piece. It’s made the rounds. It’s been on this blog, then I had this idea that I should have a separate blog just for writing. The trouble is that I’d rather write than write about writing.I’ve beenI neglecting the other blog since I’ve transferred a dozen posts to it. Now I am bringing the articles back home and trashing the other blog. I can hardly manage one blog, let alone two (three if you count the recipe blog). What a pickle I’ve got myself into.
Since I won’t have (much) time to write between now and early next year, I’m just going to transfer my pieces across one at a time.