“I’d welcome the opportunity to work with you again.”
A funny thing happened–twice–recently.
In the midst of my Fodor’s Puerto Rico guidebook assignment, the editor happened to mention a few other guides he was editing simultaneously. He did this by way of apologetic explanation, I think. He’d promised to send some additional guidelines for my PR features and had overshot his deadline several times; by telling me the other projects he was working on, he was letting me know he was overextended.
Among the other projects he was managing was Fodor’s Caribbean. I mentioned that I’d be interested in any assignments he thought would fit with my geographical and subject areas of expertise, and within a couple minutes, he’d written back to say he thought he had a couple features for which he needed a writer. Would I be interested?
Well, yes. Yes, I certainly would. By the end of the day, the new contract was sitting in my inbox.
When I checked my email this morning, I had a message from an editor of the in-flight magazine for which I filed an article just last week. When I sent in my draft (along with photo suggestions, sidebar resources, and my author bio), I thanked the editor for the opportunity to write for the magazine and told her I’d welcome the opportunity to write for the magazine again.
It seems obvious enough, but few writers remember to seed future opportunities by adding this simple phrase (or some variation on it) to their communications with editors. Editors try to keep writers in mind, but they often have so much work they’re managing that they’re not able to keep all the writers they know on their radar screen. As a writer, it’s likely to be far easier for you to get work through existing contacts than new ones, so don’t forget to use this game-changing phrase… it works.