There is a bit of stress cycling among the talented #Pitchwars mentees, centered on the November 1 deadline. People are forthcoming about this on Twitter, but it also comes as no surprise, right? Mentees have jobs, kids, obligations, and then are revising NOVELS on top of this (and at a rapid pace). Stress seems very normal. Also, we’re writers–we live for drama.
Here’s the #Pitchwars November schedule/Agent Round:
- Nov 1 (JUST UPDATED: Oct 31, 4 p.m. EST): each writer sends in a MS pitch and first page (total words allowed, including pitch = 300). Brenda Drake posts each pitch/first page on her website.
- Nov 1-10: agents review the pitch and first page, and decide if they want to read more. They request by commenting on each post. Each genre takes a turn being open to submissions. For example, the YA window opens Nov 5-10.
- Nov 10-on: each writer who has received a request responds to that agent if he/she looks like a good match. Meanwhile, each writer may now query as usual outside of the #PW contest to agents who are not a part of #PW.
Sure, it’s a lot of work, but I’m not stressed at all. I couldn’t figure out why until I realized the real deadline was getting my MS to a place where I feel confident and excited about sharing it with the world. For me (and I suspect for others), stress improves performance. It forces you to work harder, take risks you might not otherwise, break out of the comfort of routine. It helps you grow. Stress over a deadline means I HAVE A DEADLINE. I am grateful for that stress.
I of course hope to align with an agent who shares my book vision(s), and there are many excellent agents in #PW I have enjoyed stalking. But I think this process is like dating: you polish yourself and put on your best dress, cram into shoes you might not otherwise wear, and hope that the two of you have enough to talk about that you make it to dessert. Because dammit, there’d better be chocolate cake at the end of all this.
And if you only make it to appetizers, it doesn’t mean the date was a failure. This is not the only opportunity you will ever have. You learn more about what works in your world, and what doesn’t. It’s just more information. How you use that information determines your next steps. My next steps have always been forward, so there’s no reason to think this time would be any different. Onwards and upwards!
And now, I am off to bake some chocolate cake. That will be the real stress of today, if I’m out of eggs or sugar or some damn thing. Because cake is not just for date nights, Cake is forever. And that is the real takeaway from this post.