Etiquette and Survival in Pitch Wars

The submission window for Pitch Wars is coming up! It’s so exciting! I can’t wait to read all your beautiful words. Seriously, August 3rd can not get here soon enough.

I wanted to give everyone a few tips about surviving the next few weeks before picks are announced. But I can’t do too much better than Mary Ann’s post here and Mike’s post here.

However, I’m obviously still writing a blog post, so here are a few more thoughts.

Enjoy the #pitchwars thread on Twitter, but don’t live there. That leads to insanity. Make sure that you have other things to distract you or it will be an incredibly long three weeks. Plan outings, read books, write your next book. I promise, you are not going to be able to decipher any sooner than everyone else if you got into Pitch Wars or not by what you see on the hash tag. So get on there, joke around, have fun, but then get off and give your eyeballs a break.

As stated in other blogs, don’t announce your requests on the twitter feed. It’s just bad manners. I know there is a facebook group for hopefuls, and maybe you can talk about it there depending on the privacy and dynamics of the group, but your best bet is just to go and squee to a couple CP’s through email or private messages.

Don’t freak out if you don’t get requests. This could be for a number of reasons. Some mentors will choose without making requests. Or you may just have chosen the wrong mentors (which stink, but it happens.) Or you may have a perfectly good manuscript it just isn’t striking a huge chord with anyone. Or, more likely, we can just only choose one and there are so many people entering, there are going to be a lot of great manuscripts that don’t get in. But also, it may be that you need to keep working. And if that’s the case, that’s okay! It really is. Take what you learn and improve and get better. I’m still learning things about the craft of writing. Still recognizing my weaknesses and working to improve. Don’t call it a setback, use it to move forward.

Use the feed to find CP’s. If you haven’t done it yet, do it in the next few weeks, because after picks are announced, it really drops off. This way, you win no matter what.

Get used to waiting. Really. Three weeks is nothing in publishing. Heck, three weeks in publishing is like the freaking Indy 500. So this is good practice in patience. This is being a writer. You just earned another badge. 🙂

When August 25th rolls around, if your name isn’t on the list, please don’t throw a fit on the twitter feed. I’ve seen this happen each time the last two years. Somebody doesn’t get in and they start tweeting about how they are going to quit writing and this was the last straw and there’s no hope for them. Don’t do this. We understand it’s upsetting, but it really doesn’t look professional and just looks like a temper tantrum.

That being said, allow yourself to feel your feels. This is something I am working on myself and something I tried to foster in our 2015 Pitchwars mentee group during the agent round. Your feelings, whatever they are, are valid. They do not have to change because you are faring “better” or “worse” than someone else. As writers, we mourn together and celebrate together. Because even though we are at different spots on the journey, we have all been or will be, where each other are at. So don’t tell yourself you shouldn’t be feeling this way or that way. Just give yourself a little time to feel whatever emotion it is. Get it out to a friend if you need to, and then keep going.

That being said, remember that most people will not get into Pitch Wars. If you don’t get in, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

This will not make or break you. It is an opportunity, but it is not THE ONLY opportunity. You can make it without getting into Pitch Wars.

Now breathe, relax, and just know that no matter what happens, it’s going to be okay.

Keep writing, keep working, you’ll make it.

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