Would you like to guarantee that the editor of a magazine, blog, newspaper, or other publication never asks you to write for them again? Then, follow the advice in this article. I feel confident that your assigning editor will ignore your future proposals.
Surefire way to annoy
Here’s my advice: Accept a clearly defined assignment from an editor, and then turn in a story on a different topic. After all, if your new topic is interesting, the editor should be delighted, right?
No, no, no.
An editor’s perspective
When I’m wearing my “editor hat,” and I ask you to write on a specific topic. I want an article on that topic. That’s because the topic fits in with the rest of my editorial calendar. Also, I believe that my readers are interested in the topic.
Despite this, I’ve run into a writer who ignored the assignment that I’d given him. He turned in his article late, and didn’t comment in his cover email about his change of topic. When questioned, he said, “Oh, I figure everyone already knows all about that. I thought this topic was more interesting.”
Can you imagine how that infuriated me? Plus, then I had to start over in finding a writer to tackle my original topic.
When an article idea doesn’t work
There will be times when assignments don’t work out. Perhaps I was testing a hypothesis for which there’s not enough supporting evidence. Perhaps you weren’t able to gain access to the resources needed for the story.
I understand that things happen. However, please figure that out before your deadline. And, tell me about your issues early in the process. Don’t just drop a story on a different topic into my email inbox.