How a Rejection Boosted My Career By Debbie Swanson

Years ago I queried a Christian magazine with a family topic, and they agreed to review it on spec. I was thrilled, since previous queries had been flatly rejected.

I loved writing that article. I met with experts and used personal experiences. I pored over each word. I finally sent it in, and was rejected: they had recently bought something similar.

I was crushed, but I loved that article. It was good, and I had to find a home for it. After my disappointment subsided, I began searching for new markets.

I found a small press across the country with a similar focus. I sent it to them, and the editor responded quickly: he liked my writing but couldn’t use the article. He also had recently published something similar (I guess I was onto a hot topic). But, he wondered if I’d take an assignment?

I accepted, thrilled, but still wanted my original article to reach people. I continued my search and found another similar magazine in New York. I noticed they also purchased short news, something I write regularly. I sent off my article and then, over the next six months, sold them three news briefs, and still sell news to them on a regular basis.

They took forever reviewing my article. This time I wasn’t letting grass grow under my feet – I wrote up a summarized version of my article and offered it to a local attorney, dealing with family issues. He purchased it to use as a hand-out for his clients. We’ve also identified other topics he’d like similar pieces on.

Finally, the New York magazine responded. They were interested in purchasing my article. I was pleased, but even more, surprised at how much revenue that original rejection had led me to. Had that first magazine purchased my article, I may have never come across these other markets. That rejection was one of the best things that could have happened to me!

Debbie Swanson is a freelance technical and business writer and has published several articles on writing and regional topics. Recent publications include Guidepost for Kids and FamilyFun. You can visit her website at: