Veteran Write Naked contributor Pinar Tarhan is back. The last time Pinar joined us she shared social media mistakes that writers can avoid. She’s back this year with insight on how rejected and unsold pieces can have new life. I always enjoy receiving notes from Pinar. While she is on the other side of the world, I feel like she’s a nearby friend. She’s looking out for all writers today with the tips below. Enjoy!
What to Do With Unsold Writing Works
By Pinar Tarhan
Being writers, we burst with ideas, and we strive to find the right publication for them. The problem is, our ideas don’t always have a perfect match.
But giving up isn’t an option for the ideas we believe in. So what can you do after a few rejection letters? Below are 8 things you can try:
Brainstorm where to pitch next with writer friends who get your voice.
Do you belong to a writer’s group? Even if it is on Facebook, feedback from fellow writers can be invaluable. Friends who get your voice can help you find publications that have a similar outlook on life.
If you don’t have any writer friends, make some! You can even ask them to keep you accountable for the pitch, and you can return the favor.
Post on your blog.
It’s tempting to pitch our greatest ideas to other publications. But our blogs are a part of our portfolio and online business cards. And if we do a stellar job, they can turn into an income stream. So why not share this helpful idea with your readers?
Post on LinkedIn or Medium.
Speaking of readers, you should try to borrow the audience of other platforms. As a piece trends on Medium, for example, after a certain amount of “claps” (previously hearts) and views, your piece is promoted more actively.
And social media proof is yours to leverage next time you are applying for a new gig. Your potential clients will love that you write shareable content. Now even the most established writers and bloggers are cross-posting their content on several platforms.
Change the form.
Maybe your idea would just work better in another format. A blog post versus a reported piece? An essay as opposed to a podcast? Brainstorm different formats, and think about the publications you’d previously eliminated.
Change the slant.
Is your slant unique enough? While a lot has been said about everything, some angles aren’t explored as much as others. Can you bring an angle that you’ve not seen others do? This might help differentiate your pitch and get you that acceptance.
Re-pitch to the same publications if editors have changed or the market changed style. Publications change editors and directions all the time. If you still haven’t found the perfect home for your piece, you should check how the publications that originally rejected you are doing. Did editors leave? Do they have a new vision that your article is a match for? Then go for it.
Honestly, I’m not a fan of guest posting for free. But sometimes, circumstances are compelling enough to give it a go. If it is a reputable publication that has opened many paying doors for writers, you might try pitching them. A published piece popular with readers beats a dormant one collecting virtual spiderwebs.
Expand it into an ebook.
If you have thought about publishing an ebook but couldn’t decide what to write, here’s your chance to use that unsold valuable content of yours. Collect relevant samples, edit them, expand upon them if you need to, and voila! At worst, you have a decent freebie for your subscribers. At best, you have just created a new income stream for yourself.
What about you? What do you do when you can’t seem to place an idea that you love?
Pinar Tarhan is a freelance writer, blogger, and screenwriter. She specializes in lifestyle, entertainment, and writing. Her bylines include The Washington Post, Be a Freelance Blogger, Creative Class, Write Naked, and WOW! Women on Writing among others. You can catch her updates on Addicted to Writing and follow her @zoeyclark on Twitter.