Dear Pitchwars Entrants,
It’s the day after the night before, and for many of you, you’re waking up with your hopes dashed, and feeling like you don’t want to write anymore. You don’t want to query anymore. You don’t want to do anything anymore. Stop.
It’s a crappy, crappy thing to feel the sting of rejection. You’ve poured your heart and soul into your manuscript. You’ve probably sat in scorching heat sweating your ass off as you type, maybe you stayed up late in the dead of winter shivering like I did. Some have literally bled on their work as they leaf through the pages with a highlighter and a cold cup of coffee. You have given your manuscript care and love. So, yeah, rejection sucks, but there it is, and it’s something that can happen over and over again.
Dealing with rejection is not easy, and we all do it differently. Maybe some people lift their chin and immediately battle on which is awesome, you go! But for those who fall into the pit of despair, take heart, the road has not ended. Right now, you’re at an intersection and the path you choose is entirely up to you. You can take road Q and jack it all in, find a new passion (good luck), or you can take road M and march on. Last year I chose row M, and if you know me at all, you’ll know I’m glad I did.
Whichever route you choose to take, I’m sure that some of you are gazing at your manuscript thinking what the hell is wrong with it. Well, there may be nothing wrong with it. I can say with absolute certainty that there was a manuscript in Pitchwars that was just ready. That’s all that was wrong with it. It’s ready. It doesn’t need mentors or help, it needs to be sent to agents. I’m sure there were many like this. Don’t forget that Pitchwars is largely about finding a dusty jewel and applying enough polish to make it stand out. If the manuscript already sparkled, then what can you do? Query. That’s what.
Pitchwars isn’t the only way to find an agent. Over the course of 2014 and 2015 many people that didn’t get picked snagged agents. I can’t count how many on two hands because there were that many. Good old fashioned querying works perfectly fine.
For some of you, yes, your manuscript is not ready. But you just stumbled upon one of the most awesome writing communities on social media. Form critique partnerships, if you can find the right one, they’re worth their weight in gold. That I can say off the back of experience. My critique partners are awesome and we’re a pretty successful group of ladies. Now’s the time for you to find people like that, because they can elevate your manuscript to new heights. Trust me, they can.
Right now, it’s okay to feel low. Cry if you want, eat carbs if you really have to, but don’t take too long about it because you have amazing stories inside you. Pull on the passion you have for the written word. Let your heart bleed, then pick up your pen or laptop, and get back at it. You’ve merely run into a rock, don’t allow it to become a wall. Success awaits, go find it.