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  • Diana Schneidman

Ah, how I long for rejection . . . a freelancer’s lament

Be careful what you wish for.

I, too, used to wish for no more rejection . . . and now I fear I have achieved it.

For years I have marketed my freelance business-writing practice primarily by picking up the phone and calling the most likely prospects, just as I recommend in my book, Real Skills, Real Income: A Proven Marketing System to Land Well-Paid Freelance and Consulting Work in 30 Days or Less.

Very few people said “no,” and I can only recall being hung up on once over the years.

Now I am launching a new marketing campaign for my freelance writing to coincide with a “special” birthday and I doubt that I will experience any active rejection. (My specialty is writing for property-casualty insurance companies and other businesses.)

I suspect that hardly anyone will answer my call, few will listen to the voicemail I always leave, and many will automatically delete the email that immediately follows my call. My own phone receives useless sales calls and recorded messages daily but only a few valid calls per week, and I expect many prospects to deal with me as I deal with my callers by using automatic delete responses.

The quality of phone calls I have received in recent months has clearly deteriorated. I get far too many sales calls for products and services of no interest to me, far too many recordings, and far too many investigations by Microsoft and the IRS. (I know they are fake because neither organization cares enough about me to call multiple times a day.)

My current campaign to fill my freelance schedule doubles as an experiment to see what works now and what doesn’t.

The romance of literary rejection

We writers have stories in our heads about what rejection is supposed to look like. The great authors experienced years of rejections and had the letters to show for it. They’d paper the walls of their garage or their study. They’d stack them up by the hundreds.

Today it’s rare to get a rejection. An actual rejection, whether by email or the rarer postal letter, is so unusual as to be taken for encouragement. Wow, someone cared enough to reject me actively!

Back to my plan

My plan is to phone, leave a voicemail if no one answers, and immediately send an email. I’m wondering if I should text as well. I dislike receiving texts from people with whom I do not have a personal relationship and I text infrequently.

However, I hear texting is much more popular with Millennials. So I’ve thought of giving it a try but I probably won’t. To me, the main attraction of texting is that I receive so few and almost always, the ones I get are from people I know well. I don’t want people sending me useless texts so I will practice texting karma and play nice with others.

Originally posted 5-31-16

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