An update on non-fiction writing

In a word: I gave up. Writing non-fiction pays better, for sure, but I’ve had some bad experiences and some frustrating experiences and I don’t have the temperament for it.

For one, fiction editors almost always respond to you. It might be a form rejection but you know they’ve at least seen it and it’s not for them. I have submitted so many pitches for non-fiction and not received a reply, not even a form rejection. It’s really not that hard to set up a form reject email? While being rejected is hard, being ignored is far far worse for my self-esteem.

I also had one lovely experience of having a pitch accepted, writing the article (through illness and children’s illnesses) sending it in and receiving no response. After about 5 emails to find out if the editor even got my article I received “I’ve been busy sorry I’ll get to it soon” (a month later). After another month went by I tried to contact the editor again. Finally I withdrew it as I suspected the editor just didn’t want it for whatever reason (it was a good article I thought). I never heard anything. Not submitting there again.

It’s pretty depressing as I thought I may be able to earn a little money from writing non-fiction. I had gotten positive feedback from my pitches so I don’t think it’s that. And sure, maybe the editors just aren’t interested in what I’m saying, but in that case I’ll stick to writing fiction. Because that’s what I love doing. I’m not thick-skinned enough to deal with the deafening silence of the non-fiction world (and then the raucous chorus of internet comments).

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