The first time I was published in a Chicken Soup for the Soul book, I wasn’t very proud of the essay that got selected. I mean, I liked it, but it wasn’t my best work. So I figured, hey, I could write for them pretty often. They haven’t even seen my best yet. Unfortunately, that’s still my only clip with them.
Over-confidence is never good.
Fast forward a couple of years. A very tough-to-break-into and one of my favorite magazines sent me on assignment. Came back, wrote the article in record speed and stalled on sending it in. My confidence was so low that my photographer actually had to read it out loud to convince me that it worked. The editor asked me to write for them again, and again… but I always felt that maybe they weren’t so hot after all. Must not get too many submissions, I thought. UNTIL, that is, I heard from a very successful freelancer whose queries had been rejected dozens of times. Not only that, the only time she came close to writing for them was when she submitted an assigned article, and the editor rejected it because it didn’t match the voice of the magazine. Later, I heard from another freelancer who’d been trying them for years with no luck and wanted to know how I pulled it off.
No confidence is never good either.