Freelance Blog + querying

Guest Post: Good Ideas Never Die

by Jen A. Miller

The idea, I thought, was perfect. Who wouldn't want this article? Not only was it unconventional but, I thought, humorous and timely as either a Valentine's Day or summer beach reads article, depending on how I pitched it. I even had the perfect person as an anchor interview.

I thought it was perfect. However, editors did not. I pitched the story to multiple outlets, working different, unique angles, but no one bit at the time -- not even regular clients.

So when a newspaper editor came to me a month ago asking what I had for Valentine's Day, I dusted off that pitch, updated the numbers and shipped it off. She accepted it immediately. Figuring I was on a roll, I re-spun and re-slanted the piece for a magazine that had rejected it the first time around. They, too, bought it immediately as a feature for three times as much as the newspaper article would pay.

Turned out the story was perfect after all -- just before its time.

How to apply this to your freelance career? Don't give up on good ideas because they will eventually find a home, whether it's an editor finding it or you finding a new spin on it. Also, keep track of everything you pitch, even if editors say no.

The reason I had the pitch so readily available is because of my record keeping system. As soon as the first editor asked for ideas, I found the original pitch date on a spreadsheet I keep of all pitches and who and when I sent them. That lead me to the actual pitch with notes and, five minutes later, it was in my editor's hands.

As icing on that Valentine's Day cupcake, I just sold a re-slant of the second freelance article I sold. It was a good idea in February 2004, and it's a good idea now!

Jen A. Miller, who just celebrated four years of full time freelancing, is author of The Jersey Shore: Atlantic City to Cape May and blogs about the region at downtheshorewithjen.blogspot.com. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Allure, Woman's Day and Men's Health.

art, clients, freelance, guest post, ideas, life, and more:

Guest Post: Good Ideas Never Die + querying