A Word to the Pitch Wars 2016 Mentees:
You made it through. You took the risk and brainstormed with your mentor until you wanted to throw the manuscript at the wall. You worked like a dog with the faith that your story would one day be better. Some days you were so inspired you wanted to forget about daily responsibilities (and the notion of leaving your pajamas and laptop) and just keep revising. Some days you wondered whether this monster in your documents folder was an even bigger mess than it was before. But after all these ups and downs, you persevered. In the end you bravely showed the world your beautiful, polished creation.
Whatever the outcome in the Agent Showcase, whether you won the whole damn thing with twenty-something agent requests or walked away with zero…
you’ve already come out a winner.
I know, I know. It’s cliché. And I’m willing to bet more than a few of you are rolling your eyes at me. (How dare you.) But hear me out. There’s a reason such a dopey saying has developed over the generations. Because hard work really does pay off. There’s no guarantee when or how or if success will appear in the way you expected. But it really, truly does benefit you in the end. You’re better off than you were before.
Think of where you were prior to entering Pitch Wars. You were probably hopeful. Perhaps you knew your manuscript needed a boost but you were too close to it to figure out how to fix it. Maybe you were even a little discouraged with the thought of sending out cold queries for the slush piles. A contest like Pitch Wars could solve those problems. Or not. Contests can’t control how hard you work. You do that. And a contest certainly can’t control when or if you send out requested materials or traditional queries. Like most things in life, that’s all on you. Sure, this industry is fickle and hard to predict. But like all things artistic, you control the creating.
And here’s where you are today: You worked hard on this project and created something that you know in your heart is beautiful. You’ve gotten farther along in your journey than you’ve ever been before.
Congratulate yourself on the progress you’ve made. You owned it and you earned it.
The beauty is in the creating, not in the winning. Give yourself a minute (or several days) to marvel at this lovely creation you plucked from your head and sculpted onto a once-blank page. Perseverance and dedication got you where you are today in this first leg of your journey, and in the next stretch, it’ll get you even farther. I promise.