We’re going to play a game about subjectivity. Let’s imagine that instead of choosing a single book to work on, Pitch Wars was about cookies.
Object: sample a variety of cookies sent in by hopefuls and choose ONE that you think you can improve sufficiently to merit your particular mentorship.
My wish list might look like this:
WHAT I WANT:
ANYTHING with chocolate. Brownies, chocolate chip cookies, double chocolate (double yes), chocolate crinkle, and I’m especially keen on reverse chocolate chip (chocolate with white chocolate chips).
I’m also accepting gingerbread cookies.
I also like *some* sugar cookies, but I’m very, very picky about these. I love the pretty ones you roll out and then ice with almond or vanilla-flavored piping, especially the ones that are super artistic. I do not like those soft round ones with the sugar sprinkled on top. And I hate store-bought.
WHAT I DO NOT WANT:
Oatmeal cookies. I really do not like them. You’d be wasting your time sending them because I probably won’t sample them. Yes, it’s possible you made some kind of miracle oatmeal cookie with chocolate that could intrigue me, but this is a super duper long-shot and you’d be better of finding someone who likes oatmeal.
DO NOT SEND ME:
Peanut butter. I’m allergic to peanuts* and there is nothing in the world that will make me take these. If you slide into my DMs and ask me to sample your peanut butter cookies just to make sure I’m serious, you’re likely going to trigger my allergy. Don’t do that.
*Fictional. This is just an example.
The submission window opens, and MOST of you were smart and read my wishlist, so I have plates and plates filled with so many amazing-looking cookies I don’t know where to start.
Obviously, the peanut things get tossed in the trash without even looking. Sorry, I was pretty clear about that.
Oatmeal things and the wrong kinds of sugar cookies likewise get pushed to the side. You never know – I might come back to these, but again, it’s a long shot.
Now I pick through all my choices, and THERE I see a reverse chocolate chip cookie. Angels sing. Guess what I’m going to try first? And I am *hoping* it’s as good as it looks. If it checks out, it goes on the plate of goodies I’ll want to try more of later.
I continue nibbling of all the delicious yummies to get an idea of each. They may all be tempting, but I don’t have tummy space to eat ALL the cookies, so I have to be choosy of which ones I will go back to. This is *really* hard, and I think you can understand that there might be a perfectly delicious brownie that I choose over another (because of walnuts or extra fudge or who knows what). This is a highly subjective process, and another mentor’s opinions will not match mine.
Now factor into this that I don’t only want to pick a yummy treat, but I have to know a way to make it better. Take out those walnuts! Work on your icing! Add more chips!
I’m not going to belabor this all the way to its natural conclusion, but I hope you’ll understand that *as long as you’ve respected mentor wishlists* not getting a request or not getting picked is more a reflection of mentors having to make hard decisions on how to spend their time and focus.
tl;dr Please respect wishlists. Please believe in your cookies!
(If this analogy didn’t work, let’s try music next time….)