Tuesday, August 03, 2010
Fastest Rejection In The History Of My Writing Career
So yesterday afternoon I submitted a short article to well-known magazine I've been wanting to write for, asking them if they wanted to consider it for publication. About 45 minutes later, I was reading a rejection email from the managing editor.
Don't call me strange, but I was very happy to hear from her, even if she was only emailing me to say "thanks but no thanks."
So why was I thrilled by the fastest rejection in the history of my writing career?
1. The managing editor took the time to respond promptly to some random person saying, "here's a story I want you to consider." Considering the number of emails she probably receives daily, that's quite a feat!
2. She told me why she couldn't buy my story ( already commissioned the exact same story with someone else)
3. She offered me advice on how to interact with her in future ( next time, suggest a topic first, she said).
You can bet the mug of tea I really need to drink right now that I'm going to get in touch with her with another story idea. Very soon.
And I want to say THANKS to this editor for showing me that the query process can work. I'd lost hope on it actually ( which is why I knew about her point 3 but didn't do it). I usually just send the finished product, so the editor can read and decide whether she wants it or not.
For me, the waiting is worse, and usually, I consider work for unknown editors creative purging. It's usually stories that bug me, but they're not appropriate for my usual market and I'll have to try to sell to someone I've never worked with before. SoI write it down so it's out of my head, get on with the rest of work, and later, try to find an appropriate market for it.
A lot of editors I queried when I first started out as a writer didn't usually bother to respond and those that did, did so weeks or months later ( and I'm not blaming them. Having worked in a newsroom, I know about correspondence you keep meaning to get to, but never actually manage to do). But it got me thinking that publishing in mainstream media was a crapshoot unless you have established contacts, and I couldn't afford to spend too much time querying. Instead I'd focus on building relationships that could result in work down the line.
Question: Have you ever been happy, even excited, to receive a rejection? What was your reason?