How to Get and Lose a Writing Job

I wasn’t honest with myself or the editor

Christine Schoenwald
6 min readSep 12, 2022


Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

I was thrilled, and a bit apprehensive when I was offered the writing job, but I lost the job before I even wrote one word.

This job was unique in that it was the only job where I was simultaneously looking forward to and dreading my first assignment.

Miscommunication and lack of follow-through caused me to ghost my future editor.

I don’t get every writing job I apply for, but my success rate is high. I’ve had enough rejection to know it’s part of the deal when you’re a freelance writer.

You pitch, apply, and sometimes you get acceptance; other times, you don’t.

Each rejection stops feeling personal as time goes on, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t confusing.

There are infinite reasons why you aren’t hired:

You weren’t a good fit.

They went with someone more qualified.

They hired someone less experienced and more adaptable.

They hired someone in-house.

You didn’t come off as someone they’d enjoy working with.

When you don’t get a job, it’s best not to overthink it.

If you spend too much energy and time trying to figure out what went on in someone else’s head — you’ll end up frustrated and unsatisfied.

But if you have some skin in the game, then go ahead and contact the person and ask why they didn’t hire you.

They might tell you exactly why or never respond, but if you’re lucky, you’ll find out it was a miscommunication, or they didn’t even get your resume or some other simple reason, and you end up getting the job after all.

How it began.

I subscribe to several writing job newsletters; on one, I see a job listing for a new website about cats.

Since my one major client stopped using freelancers, I needed to hustle and get more work.

As requested in the listing, I send my writer’s resume, links to previous cat stories, and…



Christine Schoenwald

Writer for The Los Angeles Times, Salon, Next Avenue, Business Insider, and Your Tango