First things first. There will be a lot of sad faces once the mentee announcement goes live. I truly wish that weren’t the case. Disappointment sucks ass. I’ve been there and I know. I truly hope that those of you who aren’t chosen will keep the faith, keep writing, keep learning, and keep in touch. I want to share in your journeys even if it’s not in the official capacity of a mentor. I’m rooting for all of you.
There are a few days yet to dream. Use those dreams to power you on.
Now for those lucky few who do get picked, WELCOME to the Pitch Wars family!!
It is no mean feat to beat the odds and rise to the top of so much talent. So for one night, squeal and dance and do pointy poses of victory.
For one night.
For the day after, reality will come knocking. So party while you can. But drink a lot of water and take a couple of aspirin before you hit the hay, because the hangover is going to crash your world.
Reality will come with a fairly painful blow to the ego in the form of an edit letter. Oh yes, that letter will drip with professions of love. And you’ll suck up those professions like a life line to your sanity. I mean, you were warned many times that Pitch Wars was serious business, but nobody warned you you’d have to move your MS from first person to third. Or kill precious darlings. Or, for the love of GOD, write a scene map.
But you’re in luck. Some 100 other mentors are in your exact same shoes. They’re freaking out. They’re wondering why they haven’t gotten their edit letter yet. They’re wondering why they’re the only ones who have to learn about a beat sheet. They’re wondering why they feel so alone. You don’t have to feel so alone. This is a magic time for you and your own Pitch Wars 2015 super group. Band together. Talk. Share. Trust one another. And support each other. Amazing things will come from your group. Be a part of that.
Look around at your fellow mentees. Some of you may be agented by November. Some of you may have a book deal within a year. It might be you. You guys will be your greatest cheerleaders. You will inspire each other and lift each other up. Step up and make friends. Take it from the Pitch Wars 2014 alum. This is our anthem – community is where it’s at.
But let’s come back to what happens now. Take a deep breath. This can be a very overwhelming time, what with all the public craziness on the #PitchWars feed and the frenzy of emails and congratulations. All that noise will suddenly drop off, and you will be left with a stretch of time to work. Take this time to honor your manuscript. It seems like forever until the agent round. Use that time wisely. Listen to your mentor. Talk to your mentor. Finalize a plan that makes sense to you. Then carve out the time to write.
Now – you might be looking ahead to the agent round and thinking that’s what this contest is really about. Have you heard anything anyone has said? Have you read the other mentee blogs? Yeah, this is about getting your MS agent ready. But there’s a real possibility your agent won’t come from this contest. There’s a very real possibility you won’t even get any requests. Or you might get all the requests and no offers. And you’ll think you were a fluke. Or that your mentor made a mistake. Or that there’s something inherently wrong with your writing. But it’s all just luck and timing. Manage your expectations now. Getting into Pitch Wars proves that you’re on the right track. But the right track might be leading you somewhere unexpected.
And whenever you’re in doubt, talk to your mentor. They are rooting for you to succeed and will happily give you a psychic hug whenever you hit a wall of insecurity. You’re awesome, and your mentor is your biggest fan.
As an aside. Last year I won the superlative for “Best Use of Animated Gifs.” I’m gonna cut a bitch if I don’t at least win “Best Man Candy” this year.
Oh and one last thing. All of the Pitch Wars class of 2014 are so jealous of you. You’re in for the best time of your writing career. Have fun!
You can read more PitchWars on-the-ground/in-the-trenches/dreams-come-true/hopes-crash-and-burn-and-rise-again experiences (we got it all, folks) from these other members of the PitchWars 2014 class: