(This is a post that appeared on another site in August 2015. I am slowly fazing out that site and relocating this post. As an update: I did NOT make it to the mentor round of PitchWars… c’est la vie)
Last week I, along with 1,590 other writers, entered a little thing called PitchWars. We had spent weeks preparing. We reviewed, edited, polished and then submitted a small portion of our lovingly crafted tomes to be reviewed by potential mentors. All of this was done with the hope of being selected as one of the “chosen” who will receive the guidance of another writer so that we can be sure we have a manuscript that’s well crafted and ready to be submitted to potential agents.
The wait has been long and excruciating as it is with anything that I’m excited about. First, I had to wait weeks for the submission date. Now we are waiting until September 2, when the mentors choices will be announced. Each mentor will pick one person/writer/mentee and work with them for 2 months as the mentee gets their novel revised until it sparkles.
I’m a naturally optimistic person. I’m generally surprised every time my lotto numbers don’t come up. Every time I go into something I imagine the best possible outcome in vivid detail (except for my Nobel Prize accetance speech, because I suck at public speaking and I’m sure to babble unintelligibly when the time comes). So, going into #PitchWars I was feeling confident, prepared and like this was going to be my moment.
Optimism is a tough thing to maintain though. At some point during the long wait–Day 2, I think it was–self-doubt crept in. I reviewed my novel again. Cut another 1,000 words, reorganized some chapters, and tightened up my word choice and dialogue.
Then catastrophe struck. I’d taken the word of some other writers, novice as well as published, and experimented with the “Track Changes” feature in Word. I thought that I’d hidden all of the changes and that every chapter of my novel had been saved to an entirely new manuscript. I saw a post on Twitter in which someone made the statement, “nobody really knows how to hide Track Changes”. I should have known then but it took a day or two to realize that my entire novel still had the glaring red edits that had been made. Utter humiliation.
Even though my optimism has taken a huge Rousey to the right temple, I’m still excited about PitchWars and the entire process…including the wait. What a great community of people, the mentors and potential mentees, alike. The feed is full encouragement, commiseration and fun. It’s nice to have 1,590 other people who are as excited about something as I am. As much as I know they love me, when I talk about Pitch Wars to my family they get glassy eyed and back out the door…
So, the highlight of this has been in finding a group of people, who are all in the same boat and are willing to lift each other up when needed. Mostly, I’m happy to know that there are people out there who totally groove to my kind of beat and that I’ve found them! Cheers to all of those who are chosen for the 2015 PitchWars and those that had the guts to enter.