I know at this point you’re going to get a lot of information in regards to what to do with your manuscript, query, synopsis, etc. It will flood your senses, and some of it might be contradictory. That’s kinda the way of the publishing world because it’s so subjective. Some people like things one way, while others prefer another. Even so, considering how much of it’s actually going to be out there, I thought I’d prep you in a different area.
Preparing yourself emotionally for Pitch Wars.
Yup. Whether you get in or not, it’s an emotional roller coaster. There will be ups, downs, lefts, rights, spin arounds, and more.
It’s okay to feel sad—but don’t be a dick about it.
It’s okay to be mad—but don’t be a dick about it.
It’s okay to be ecstatic you got in—but don’t be a dick about it.
Are you sensing a theme here? In the past few years there have always been people who flip out when something doesn’t go their way. It sucks when that happens. I get it, but a lot of people put time, effort, sweat, blood, and tears into this competition—and I’m not talking about the mentees. You guys are awesome, but man, it takes so much to be on the other side, as a mentor, or better yet, as the contest creator—Brenda Drake.
Writer’s tend to be emotional people—and this is an emotional business, but if you want to survive in this business, you need to learn how to be a professional. That means no tantrums on social media, no bashing the mentors or creator, no secretly waging silent armies in hopes of destroying something good, all because something didn’t go your way.
The first thing to remember is that, even if you don’t get picked, that doesn’t mean you suck. Maybe your manuscript isn’t ready. Maybe a mentor would love to take it on, but there’s too much to be done in the time they’re allotted. Maybe it’s too good. Yes, it can be too good. Mentor’s can look at a manuscript, love it, and have no idea how to make it better.
So, as sort of Debbie downer as this might sound.
Prepare yourself ahead time. Prepare yourself emotionally for the good and the bad. There’s plenty of both to go around. Join in with the community. They will help lift you up. They will become your best friends and new critique partners. They will swap queries and first chapters—and it’s beyond amazing. I met my best writer friends while participating in Pitch Wars two years ago.
I didn’t get in by the way. I wasn’t even an alternate. I wasn’t even considered by anyone I submitted to, so if you’re thinking:
“Well, she got in. She doesn’t know what it’s like to be rejected.”
Hit the buzzer cause you’re wrong. I NEVER got into a competition—but what I learned from each one, was absolutely invaluable—and there is so much to learn. If you let that happen, it will improve your query, your pitch, your manuscript, and more than likely, your chances of being published. Sometimes, it’s not all about getting into the competition. The parties that happen before hand? It’s like a huge tailgate party for writers with a plethora of information for you to absorb. Enjoy. Have a drink if that’s your thing. Play the games, get to know people.
Regardless what happens, good or bad—it’s okay to have feelings. It’s okay to cry, jump for joy, and get frustrated. This industry is so subjective. It's got so many ups and downs. It's okay to react. To feel.
Just don’t be a dick about it.