Pitch Wars Pep Talk

We’re in the final days of the Pitch Wars selection period. The mentors are frantically reading through the subs, looking for “the one,” or deciding which of several “ones” they can best help. The hopefuls are handling the waiting in whatever way works best for them. Because tensions, and emotions, run high in Pitch Wars, I wanted to share what things look like on this side of the inbox.

I got a little over 100 subs, and you guys brought your A-game. I’m super impressed with the quality of the writing and the intriguing ideas I’ve been reading. And I have to choose just one manuscript to work with. This is going to be hard. As in, I’m losing sleep over this decision. When concepts and writing are this strong, it’s going to come down to which story clicks with me the most – something that’s completely subjective – and I think the other mentors are in the same situation. Agents are too, all year long, and I have a lot more empathy for them after doing Pitch Wars.

So, to everyone who subbed to Pitch Wars, congratulations on finishing a manuscript, on polishing it until it shines, and on being brave enough to put it out there. You are doing amazing things. Pitch Wars is awesome, but it’s not your one and only chance. I was a Pitch Wars alternate (when such a thing existed). I ended up publishing that manuscript with a small press. Then I found my agent in a different pitch contest. And the journey doesn’t end with getting published or getting an agent. There are still revisions and rejections and waiting and waiting and waiting.

The witty and wise Mr. Robison Wells said:

“Everyone’s in a different place, and that’s okay. Getting published doesn’t mean you’ll be published forever. Getting rejected doesn’t mean you’ll always be rejected… The truth is that most authors—even the really good ones with great careers—get depressed. They’re hard on themselves. They worry about the future. They regret decisions in their past… I don’t present this to make you stop chasing your dreams. I say it to make you feel better about this maddening business… You’re good enough. You really are.”

So, take a deep breath, soak in a warm bath, eat some good chocolate. Find something else to work on so the waiting doesn’t kill you. And no matter what happens with Pitch Wars, it’s just one step on your path. Keep going!