Dealing with Rejection
When possible, I try to reply to those who have pitched to me even when the answer is negative. This simply seems like good manners: if you’ve found the time and bothered to write to me, then I should be able to do similarly.
Nearly always when I say ‘no’ and, if time allows, briefly explain why, PRs are accepting. Occasionally, however, some dispute my logic or say something faintly petty.
Though everyone is, of course, allowed to have an opinion and I should never be beyond reproach, it’s not a good look. It makes me reluctant to explain next time, and the time after, for fear of more rancour.
There’s a parallel here with my dealings with editors. More often than not, my pitches are turned down; in the majority of those cases, I don’t even get a reply. Eight years in and I still find this hard. “Oh,” I think, “my idea must really have sucked.” In fact, the idea might have been perfect except for the clash with an already-commissioned piece. It might have been inadvertently forgotten, or gone to a spam folder.
Even if my idea simply wasn’t fit for consumption, that’s just how it goes. As a PR or freelance journalist, you win some and lose, well, most. Rejections make the infrequent victories more meaningful and uplifting. It’s never really personal or a judgement of you as a whole. The thing to do is to accept it, take any learnings available and try again, and again, and again, undaunted.
What Richard thinks…