Fit to Write: Expect Rejection

Kelly James Enger and son

By Kelly James-Enger

I’m going to let you in a little secret about sending your work out for publication. You’re going to get rejected.

There it is. It’s not that surprising, is it? But this fact stops many would-be writers in their tracks. It doesn’t have to. Expect rejection-and then plan what you’ll do next. I suggest you try my “24-hour rule.” When you get a rejection, or a “bong,” as I call it, do two things within the next 24 hours.

Number one, send a new query to the editor who bonged you, starting with, “Thank you very much for your response to my query about [fill in the blank]. While I’m sorry you can’t use it at this time, I have another idea for you to consider…” Number two, resubmit the idea (tweaking it, if appropriate) to a new market.

Your great idea may not sell to the first market you approach. It may instead sell to the third, or fourth, or fifth-but you won’t know that until you get it out there.

Author, speaker, and consultant Kelly James-Enger is a certified personal trainer and the author of books including Small Changes, Big Results: A 12-Week Action Plan to a Better Life (with Ellie Krieger, R.D.). Her book, Ready, Aim, Specialize! Create your own Writing Specialty and Make More Money, is aimed at novice freelancers; Six-Figure Freelancing: The Writer’s Guide to Making More Money helps experienced writers boost their bottom lines. Visit for free articles about freelancing and more information about her.


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