I’ve yet to read Fail Your Way to Success because I think the title mostly says it all. It reminds me that there really is no failure for freelance writers, or anyone else – not over the long haul anyway.
Another way to state this is to say failure is more dependent on our attitude than on reality.
I was reminded of this the other day when I got rejected for a hard money blog. Hard money is a term probably used most often in real estate and refers to a loan from a private lender rather than a bank.
I was almost relieved when the rejection came in because they were running their hiring process through an HR firm which meant I wasn’t dealing with the editor directly. It got way more complex than it should imo. In fact, my intuition had been telling me all along that this wasn’t going to fit.
Why rejection isn’t a failure
I’ve called rejection’s badges of courage and urged those who get actual rejection slips to post them on their walls.
Here’s why: we can’t get rejected if we don’t try!
Sure, when an editor or client says ‘no’ it may be disappointing. It usually means we keep looking, and sometimes it means a scramble when we have to say no to our biggest client because they’ve changed the rules.
But we can take credit for the fact we tried, and try again, over and over again if need be.
We can also take the manuscript that was rejected and go over it with a fine-tooth comb. I did look at what I’d sent them – a draft article instead of the outline they requested. It was certainly draft material. I didn’t really understand their outline process – heck, outlining drives me mad to tell the truth. I also know that if you want the gig you follow the directions. I took a risk, but not much of one since I was pretty sure I didn’t want to work with these folks, particularly given the pay they were offering.
Make everything a learning experience
One way to re-frame what feels like a failure into a win is to recognize that at a minimum it’s a learning opportunity. Here’s what I learned:
- My intuition is often, even usually right on.
- A reminder I don’t like outlines – lists work well for me.
- I bit more about hard money lenders – more about this in a moment.
Why I pursued the gig
The reason I even started the application process was two-fold. I’m already doing a real estate blog for someone and I hoped this one would pay more. It did a bit, but they wanted fewer posts so it was a wash money wise.
The other reason is my daughter and I are starting a part time real estate investment business. Hard money lenders are apt to be part of what we need and now I have the name and website of one I might never have found any other way. I thought perhaps blogging for them would teach me quite a bit – and indeed it might have.
If you want to learn about something new, or, as in my case, get started again on something, writing about it can be a great way to do that.
Even not writing isn’t a failure if it’s a decision
If you’ve gotten the free ebook or followed this blog for awhile, you may have heard me say something like ‘nothing happens until you write.’ I’ll stand by that statement if writing is what you want to do. But not everyone wants to write and even those who start sometimes want to quit. If you decide you don’t want to write, if it’s a heartfelt decision, great. On the other hand, if in any particular moment you feel like a failure as a writer, and you know you want to write, are a writer – then take a walk and come back and write. You really can’t fail.
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Write well and often,