How to Deal with Rejection as a Freelance Writer

As a freelance writer, you get rejected a lot. Sometimes you send a pitch to a new magazine and they send out a form rejection letter. Sometimes a company who needs a freelance writer flat out rejects you, says your prices are too high, too low, or you don’t write in their style. However they say it,

Remember Rejection Is Not Personal

It’s easy to forget that freelance writing is a business when we put so much of our hearts into writing the best content we can. When we get that rejection letter from a project we really wanted to work on, it can feel like a personal defeat. You always need to remember that a rejection is not personal, even if the person makes you feel like the problem is yours.

I base my freelance writing prices on how long it takes me to do the work, what my competitors charge, and what the industry suggests. As someone with a terminal degree in writing, I also bring a certain level of expertise to my work that my clients can’t find in a cheap alternative. Usually in the same week I am contacted by several different new prospective clients, one that tells me how affordable and reasonable my prices are and another that aggressively tells me my prices are outrageous. I thank both of them for the call and send the second one elsewhere. It’s not personal, it’s business.

Find Other Freelance Clients

When you’re rejected by a freelance client, go ahead and find a few more. Even if this person wasn’t happy with your work, your other clients are. You want new clients that are happy with your work and make you feel great about working with them. If they rejected you, they’re probably not that kind of client anyway.

Be Grateful for the Clients You Have

It’s easy to overlook how awesome your freelance writing life is after a rejection. For instance, I’m at the point where I don’t pursue any opportunity and just the ones that interest me. I’m busy enough with my existing clients who are truly awesome. When I get rejected, I try to think about what I’ve already got going on. Did I really have the time to give this new client anyway?

Thank God You Bypassed a Headache

We live in a culture that thinks in a short-term way. If your rejection came across as particularly mean, the person sending it probably is pretty mean. You could have potentially worked with this person! Think about how terrible working with mean people is.

Four or five years ago, I went through an exhaustive interview process for a new client. It seemed like it could be a great opportunity and we’d be a good fit. The phone interviews went great, both of us laughing and emailing afterward. When I didn’t land the client, I was a little sad, honestly. Last Christmas at a party, I met the girl who landed this client. I didn’t know it at the time, but when she started talking about it, I realized she got it instead of me. Boy was I lucky. It turned out to be a regular job with a boss that made her life a mess. I would have been miserable in the same position. I was so grateful I didn’t have to go through the same.