Since I started writing as a freelancer nearly two years ago, I’ve enjoyed a pretty good run. The nearly two dozen articles that I have written and pitched, have all been published with the exception of one.
Until a little over a week ago.
I wrote what I thought was a fantastic pitch email, and sent the submission, that I spent days working on, to an online parenting site I am eager to write for. My piece was somewhat of a deviation from those that they typically publish. But I was proud of it and confident that the experience I had written about was relatable to many other mothers of sons, especially those raising sons alone.
When I saw the reply from the site sitting in my inbox, I expected to see a message of thanks for the submission along with a request that I forward my invoice. Instead, I received a polite message explaining that it was not quite right for their site. They wished me well in getting it published elsewhere and invited me to submit again in the future.
Because I wrote the piece specifically for this site, my first thought was to just keep and publish it on my own blog site. But I quickly dismissed that thought. I was certain that it was worthy of reaching a larger audience than that of my blog site, and worthy of pay. So I decided to submit it to a site for whom I had written before. The piece really was more suited for them; however, my desire to expand my publishing credits pushed me in another direction.
But it was when I got an email that read, “We love the piece and want to use it,” that I felt immense pride. Not because my piece will be published after all (although I am happy about that), but because I did not personalize the rejection I received from the first site.
The me from a few years ago would have placed the weight of that ‘no’ on my shoulders and dutifully rode with it into the sunset. I would not have dared considered any other site to submit my article. Instead, I would have accepted the ‘no,’ while entertaining every reason under the sun as to why I suck as a writer, why they were right to reject my piece, and why I should never again make another pitch–to anyone.
But instead, I reminded myself that the piece I wrote was good. It just was not right for that site and their audience. And that’s okay. Their ‘no’ turned into someone else’s ‘yes.’ This is the attitude that I want to always possess as a writer and, most importantly, as a life learner.
‘No’ does not mean never.
It simply means not now. Or not for that particular person. It does not serve us to get stuck in the muck and mire of ‘no,’ attach it to who we are, or allow it to cast doubt upon what we do. ‘No’ is nothing more than an unexpected bump in the road on which we are traveling.
And if the urgency lives inside of us long enough and screams loudly enough, somehow, some way, we will always find our way to ‘yes.’