PitchWars selections happen on Thursday. There are, as there have been in years past, a ton of incredibly talented applicants looking to be a mentee in the hopes of, ultimately, gaining agent representation. Representation is a goal a lot of us, as writers, have. It's a good goal. An attainable one.
But for a lot of us, Thursday will come with heartbreak and disappointment.
And it's okay to be disappointed.
It's okay to look around and say my best wasn't good enough in certain ways, and it's a difficult reminder that this process is a lot like the publishing process - it's incredibly subjective. I can go through my email and find a huge number of my rejected queries that say I write well, but the agent/editor didn't connect with the characters the way they needed to.
This was one of the hardest lessons to wrap my head around, and sometimes it still gets to me. Just like the way Thursday will get to me.
You can be disappointed. You can eat your feelings with ice cream and beer, and watch your favorite movies. That's totally allowed. (I will most likely be doing some form of this at the end of the week.) But you can't wallow forever, which means you have to decide whether you're going to throw in the towel or keep going.
Please don't throw in the towel.
If you need to, shelve the project you entered for PitchWars for a little while. Write something new. Rewrite a previous work. But don't dwell on the hurt and disappointment, and please, please don't give up. There are multiple ways to get to the destination - that destination being agent representation, a book deal, etc - and PitchWars is just one of those ways. Contests are just one of those ways.
In the end, the journey you took to get there will be worth it. Believe me.
Writers can be a little odd. We have quirks, habits, and routines that might raise a few eyebrows, but the idea usually comes back around to whatever works for that writer, works for that writer.
If I'm going to have a marathon writing day, there's usually a few things I need. A good cup of coffee is the first, followed by a place to work (either in the apartment or somewhere I feel I can get work done with minimal distractions). The last and certainly not least thing on the list? Music. Sometimes the music is there to be a personal soundtrack for a specific character. Other times it's to help set either the tone of the scene or set the scene itself. While I might use a variety of songs, there's always core set of two or three that I come back to, especially when it gets difficult to get the words out.
Here's a few of my go-to YouTube selections from when I first drafted LADY OF SHERWOOD.
I'm Molly Louise and this my journey as a scientist, wanderer, and, most recently, will-be published author.
This whole experience so far - signing a contract, getting to announce it, turning in the first round of edits, seeing my name and bio on the CTP website - has been absolutely awesome, and, I'm not gonna lie, a bit overwhelming.
It gets really overwhelming if I think about what could happen after it's released, and I try not to think about that right now.
The bright side to all of this is that there are others who have gone through this part of the process. Everyone from the other authors at CTP, writer friends on Twitter, and basically anybody who's an author who's written about the experience. It's kind of comforting to know that we've sat in the same boat at one point.
I'm navigating. I'm navigating having a first publication, moving to a new city (I've only been out here in Buffalo since mid-April), working full time, and having a writing to-do list that, at first look, seems absolutely ridiculous.
So. Carpe diem, and go big or go home, apparently.
Thanks for stopping by. Browse. Smile. Giggle. And maybe say hi.