For the past twelve days I’ve been deep in the nestpitch slush and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed myself. I’ve had the privilege of reading so many amazing words and there are some that my sweaty little palms are craving. I want so many full manuscripts! The extra pages that our team requested weren’t nearly enough to satisfy the thirst I have for more of these wonderful books. As we get closer to our final choices, I still want so many, but sadly not all can be chosen. There is very limited space and so many entries. It’s sad and I want to give every author who doesn’t make it a cuddle. I want them to know that the result is no reflection on their writing. I want them to know that at some point, one of us probably gazed adoringly at their words, but we are all teams of three and majority vote wins. So, I want them to realize that they can write and should.
Insecurity is a wily little beastie. It doesn’t matter who you are, if it wants to feast on your brains, it will. My amazing critique partners have been coaxing me back to writing after one of these beasts buried itself in my head and set up shop there. It was not budging. I rolled my computer chair in front of the TV and stuffed my face while singing I don’t wanna write no more to the tune of Westlife’s I Don’t Wanna Fight No More. (Seriously).
At first I thought it was a case of no longer being able to write any words, but then I found myself co writing a short story for an anthology with another writer (also working hard behind the scenes at nestpitch to select the best entries – she’s amazeballs) and the words flowed. I could do it. I could write. So what was up with the creature kicking back on his sun lounger in my head?
I now know that is was one of my current manuscripts causing it. Every time I held the cursor over the file to open it, my stomach rolled and I just couldn’t. I wanted to, but I didn’t want to. That probably doesn’t make sense, but it was how I felt. I could’nt bring myself to write another word, and here’s why. I decided, at some point, that is was crap. I don’t remember deciding this. I don’t remember at what point I began to think this, but there you have it. It was crap. It could’ve been as genius as works of Shakespeare (pfff, yeah right), but I still would’ve said it’s crap. I had lost all confidence in my ability to tell that particular story. And that’s what I don’t want anyone else to do.
I can now say that it is not crap. My critique partners were telling me this all along, but the insecurity demon obviously had his foot on the part of my brain that would believe that.
And now to the point of this post and a few heartfelt words to the nestpitch entrants.
For the love of all things nesty and pitchy and booky, do NOT let the insecurity beastie into your head. Kick it out. Out. Out.Out. If you don’t get selected, don’t worry about it. As I said, there’s a very big chance that one of us wanted it. There’s also a very big chance that we threw a tantrum when we couldn’t have it. I’m talking tears and snotty faces.
See, it’s all gravy baby. You’ll be fine. Query! If you need help with your query, there are plenty of ways to find that. The people that you meet along the way are invaluable! Query Kombat is also coming up, which is a great comp you should enter! The road has not ended for you. There are so many success stories from authors who didn’t get picked in a pitch contest only to go on and receive multiple offers of representation.
It has been an absolute pleasure and a privilege reading all the wonderful pitches and book beginnings. Thank you for allowing me to.