Over the years, I’ve compiled a list of excuses writers make for either not pitching at all, or failing at it.
Here they are, for your viewing pleasure.
1. “It’s hard to get an answer. Editors just don’t respond anymore.”
Editors do respond; it’s the only way publications that depend on freelancers can continue to publish.
Of course, you’re not going to be an editor’s priority if neither you nor your idea excite them.
Learn to excite them.
2. “I have no time.”
If you don’t have time to be a freelancer, perhaps you shouldn’t be a freelancer.
If you are serious about figuring it out, however, start by scheduling an hour a day devoted exclusively to pitching. You could get rid of the nightly Netflix viewing, or get up an hour earlier (or go to bed later).
We all have the same amount of time. What’s different is how we each define our priorities.
3. “I suck at pitching!”
You once sucked at walking as well.
You learn. You practice. You get better.
4. “I don’t have any good ideas.”
This is often a symptom of a lack of clarity, not only in who you are and what you want to say in the world, but in terms of the market you’re writing for.
If you picked up ONE publication and understood EXACTLY what its readers want, you’d be able to come up with dozens of ideas and have the exact opposite problem.
But when you don’t know what you want to say and you don’t know who you want to say it to, you will continue to struggle.
5. “I hate selling myself and am not good at it.”
But you like telling stories, correct? That’s what good pitching is.
6. “I don’t know who to send it to.”
If you want to be successful as a freelance writer or journalist, knowing how to research is the very first basic skill that you’ll need to hone.
The sooner you figure out how to find information, the sooner you’ll start succeeding as a journalist.
Plus, there are tricks.
7. “I have too much work on my plate, including for other clients!”
And there lies your core problem.
You’re so busy building someone else’s dream that you have no time for your own.
Pay yourself first. Not just in terms of money, but in terms of time.
Take the first hour of the day and devote it exclusively to building your own dream. Then fit everything else into the time left.
That’s the only way to do it, that is the only way any of us have ever done it.
You can spend your entire life working for other people and feeling guilty for never having focused on the stories that you want to tell, creating the lifestyle for your family that you always dreamed of, and doing the work that mattered to you.
Take an hour a day, the first hour of the day, and focus it on building your dream.
That simple and that easy.
But not if you’re committed to your excuses.
Then nothing can help you.
But if you’re done with the reasons why you can’t pitch or be successful at it, and ready to start telling the stories that are meaningful to you, then I’ve got something amazing for you:
I’m offering pitch critiques.
More info here:
(12 spots only.)