When I opened my inbox today, I was excited to see an email from an editor who I’d pitched an idea to yesterday.  What a quick turnaround! Then reality settled in as my anxiety-o-meter began to rise. What if it’s a rejection?  Or it could just be a note telling me that my idea is great.   Then I just said to hell with it—the email will be the same whether I take one second to click and read it or an hour.  So, I opened and read the email. The first sentence basically said that she’d pass on my story idea (Ugh!).  But the following sentences caught my attention.  The editor did point out that, although my idea wasn’t a match, she did like my topic.  She provided some information on the kind of stories that the publication was less interested in and the ones that were more likely to work.  She offered me an opportunity to rework my pitch and resubmit it to her.  And finally she mentioned that she was open to receiving more pitches from me.

First off let me say that it’s great to even hear back from editors.  Having worked in book publishing before, I have seen firsthand how busy editors can be.  So editors overall are very busy people.  Know that when I get an email from an editor I’ve pitched, whether they like my idea or not, I’m happy to know that they’ve received and read my idea.

Writing for magazines is challenging, so try to handle the rejection of your idea, which you’ve worked your butt off to make great, with a grain of salt.  Develop ways to cope with rejection.  Take the “eject” out of the word rejection and use it to get rid of your own your negative thoughts.  Find the silver lining in every “no” you receive.  How, you ask?  Well for starters, don’t get bogged down by the fact that the idea you worked so hard on is now orphaned.  Polish it up, find a new twist to the story, and send it off to another publication—maybe a local magazine or newspaper.  Look for clues within an editor’s reply to your story idea, he may be offering you an opportunity to submit more ideas.  A responsive editor is better than an editor who you never hear from at all.  So don’t let this opportunity to write back with another idea pass you by.

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