When I decided to try and turn freelance writing into my business, rather than writing as a hobby and focusing on my corporate career, I had to change my way of thinking. It's only a pretty recent mind shift, but thanks to some great advice and a short course, I'm on my way.
When my business brain kicks into gear, it all becomes logical to me. So I'm doing my best to take the personal side out of writing (the freelance side of writing, anyway) and using my business sense.
Here's what I've learned so far about turning writing into a business...
Take away the emotion - nothing about this is personal. A rejection doesn't mean the editor doesn't like you, a request for a redraft doesn't mean they hate your writing; it's just a matter of them doing what's best for their magazine.
Perseverance is the winner. If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again. At the very least, it will show an editor that you're a hard worker, full of good ideas, and really keen to get into their publication.
Treat it like a normal sales transaction. The editor is the customer, purchasing a product (a piece of writing) from your business. And good business sense dictates that The Customer Is Always Right.
Say it again: The Customer (Editor) Is Always Right. Even if you hate that they're saying you have to rewrite or change some parts of your piece, say 'No worries at all, I'll get that back to you shortly.'
Learn. Take the opportunity to learn from what the editor tells you. You might have throught your piece was perfect (after all, that's why you sent it through) but if they have feedback for you take it on board. It will only make your writing better.
A 'no' is better than silence. A 'no' is actually what I think of as the start of a conversation, and I reply to that no with a polite thank you, and perhaps a question or two - it really engages them in dialogue and helps them get to know you and you get to know what they're looking for.
Silence, though, is not the end. Follow up is my least favourite part of this business, but it's very important. In any other business, you wouldn't send out a brochure and shrug if you didn't hear back from anyone - you'd follow up.
Seek support. Join a writing group, connect with other writers online, take part in a forum, or ask an experienced writer for advice or mentorship. People are generous; just ask. And a little support goes a long way to getting your mind into gear.
Goals are important. Whether you write them down or have them in your head, have some goals and do whatever it takes to get there.
Marketing is important. You wouldn't run any business without promoting it in some way, so use whatever resources you have (and can dedicate time to): blogs, social media, a working portfolio, and your most important asset: YOURSELF.
Dig deeper. I've felt a bit down a few times already after rejections, thinking that was the best idea I could possibly think of for that publication. But no, it wasn't. Dig deeper and you'll surprise yourself.
Educate yourself. Invest in some great courses to help yourself learn as much about this industry as possible.
Make it happen. Just do it.