This month, I submitted “Dragon’s Curse” to two different pitch contests: #NoQS and #PitchSlam. I didn’t make it into #NoQS, but I’m waiting to hear on #PitchSlam (which has a very cool Harry Potter theme this time around! LOVE IT!). It got me thinking Beyond the Pitch Contest – and not in a bad way.
I often see cool articles about people who have succeeded. We read interviews, see all the love between the mentors and their chosen authors, and the like. But what about the vast majority who don’t “make” it? What about them? What happens after their party’s over?
I’ll tell you: We live.
That’s right! We. Live. We continue to press on. We keep writing. We keep in touch with our awesome new writer friends (you DID reach out to other authors, right?), exchanging queries/manuscripts/first 250s/pitches/whatever to make our work shine. We continue (or start!) to query. WE LIVE, and live fully. Why? Because pitch contests aren’t the be – all, end – all of our writing experience. They’re a great enhancement to that experience, but not “IT.” Even when we get published, that’s not IT. Because we keep going. Here’s an interview I did with a non-winning pitch contest author (okay, it’s me…but still!):
Hey, Mary! How are you feeling?
M: Awesome, actually. Why wouldn’t I be?
Honey, success is what you make of it. I’ve met awesome people through these contests, and I’ve learned so much about my writing, the business, and more. In my book, forward movement is success.
That’s a good attitude. What are you up to now?
I’m making sure Dragon’s Curse is as good as it can be. All the advice I’ve received…all that feedback…I’m putting it to good use. I’ll be querying again soon (I stopped while I was gone on vacation). Plus, I’m still editing Cake or Death. I still have high hopes for that one. A cake decorating vampire hunter! Cracks me up. Oh…and I already have another novel outlined.
Wow! You sound busy!
That’s the best way to be. Seriously. It keeps the ugly thoughts out of your head, and keeps your eyes on the prize.
Do you have any advice for other writers out there who may be in the same position?
Well, other than what I’ve just written here on my blog…yeah. Don’t be hard on yourself. Don’t think, “I wasn’t selected, so that means everyone hates me. I suck!” You don’t suck. Refusing to better yourself? That sucks. Taking a break? Doesn’t suck. Regrouping? Doesn’t suck. Bettering yourself? TOTALLY DOES NOT SUCK! Keep at it, writerly darlings. You’ve got this!