Last month, I sent a pitch for what I considered to be a fabulous and timely feature to the relevant editor at a major women’s mag. One with whom I’d worked successfully before. One that I thought was just the right contact for this particular story.
Two weeks later, I followed up that pitch with a polite, friendly email, repeating the pitch in a polite, friendly manner.
One week later, I sent a polite, friendly email thanking the magazine for considering the pitch and politely letting them know I’d be taking it elsewhere.
I reworked it to new specifications, took it elsewhere and sold the story.
The longer you freelance, the more you realise the importance of pitching the right story to the right publication at the right time. You may have the best idea in the world, but if it doesn’t land on the right desk at the right moment, it will go nowhere.
What does this mean? Don’t take it personally. If you hear nothing, don’t immediately assume it’s all about you. Give the recipient some space to respond, then follow up – very politely. If you hear nothing again, thank them for their time and think about how you might pitch the story elsewhere.
Don’t send the same pitch again. It didn’t work the first time, and you are now approaching a different publication, which will require a tweak, even if it’s small.
But do send it. If you have faith in the idea, have faith that it will, eventually, land on exactly the right desk at exactly the right time.
There will always be rejection (and someone not even responding to your email lands squarely in this bracket). No matter who you are, or how long you’ve been working as a freelancer. People who work regularly as freelancers are the ones who take that rejection and use it to plaster another layer of insulation on their skin. Creating a suit of armour.
It ain’t pretty. But you’re not looking for pretty. You’re looking for work.
For more tips on freelance writing, check out my ebook: Get Paid To Write: The secrets of freelance writing success.