Currently listening to: I Really Don’t Care by Demi Lovato (feat. Cher Lloyd)*
I was unfortunately not lucky enough to land one of the coveted spots as a Pitch Wars mentee or alternate. That’s sad, but there are like 1,000 other people in the exact same boat. We entered, our queries and first chapters and manuscripts battled it out until one two were left standing for each mentor, and the rest of us fell off to the wayside.
Some entrants are off licking their wounds, others have hunkered down in their writing lairs and madly started writing their next MS, and still others are gearing up for #PitMad (September 9th on Twitter).
What am I doing? A little of all of that, but also none of it. I’m not really coddling my wounded ego or hurt feelings. Honestly, I’ve always been the type of person who assumes the worst. That way, I get a nice surprise if something goes better than I planned! So I was hopeful for a day or so after submitting my Pitch Wars entry, and I watched my four mentor picks’ Twitter feeds, wondering if I’d see any sign that they were interested in my MS. I didn’t. I mean, there were some that could have been mine, or general genre statements that matched up to mine, maybe, but I never sat there thinking “Omg, they’re talking about me. They’re considering me!”
This morning (or last night, depending on how you decide to look at it), the results were posted, and…my name was nowhere to be found. I checked Brenda Drake’s blog (where this was posted) at like 6am, because I didn’t feel like getting out of bed yet, but I needed to at least be able to claim consciousness so I could get to work on time. I might have felt a quick pang of disappointment, but then I shrugged and took a shower and that was it.
I’m not upset about not being picked. Not at all. There were over 1,000 entries to the contest, and some mentors had over 100 writers vying for their attention. My manuscript was a piece of hay in a haystack. It didn’t catch the attention of the mentors in the same way as their top pick or alternate pick. Hell–it may not even have caught their attention as much as 50 entries that weren’t mine did. Maybe they thought it was God-awful, maybe they liked it. I probably will never know. So why dwell on it?
The bit thing for me, though, is what now? I could dive back into the query trenches, as one fellow entrant put it. But I’m not sure yet if I will. My latest batch of queries is almost entirely resolved, aside from a few that I can consider CNRs by the end of the week and a few that I’ve given up hope on because the agents have a bit of a habit of just responding…eventually, maybe, or absolutely never, and no one seems quite able to pin down any rhyme or reason to it.
Self-publishing is another option. I’m confident in the MS I entered to Pitch Wars. I’m proud of it, I’ve spent months upon months polishing it, editing it, having others read it, critique it, edit it…I’m ready for it to be published. I’ve tried the traditional route, and maybe I’m not patient, but it’s not been panning out for me so far. And I have other WIPs that will probably fare better in that arena–they’re more commercial, or more in line with current trends. That’s why I also have a draft of my manuscript formatted for self-publishing in paperback and Kindle. I’ve been prepared on that count for a while. I spent months researching the pros and cons of both traditional and self publishing. I’m not looking to get rich off my books; I don’t even care if I manage to pay a single bill with my sales. That’s not important to me. What I do have an interest in, though, is getting a work I’m very proud of (and I would say rightly proud of) out there where people can see it and buy it and read it.
So now I’m just…waiting. I’m not going to rush to self-publish as a knee-jerk reaction to not getting picked in PitchWars. Maybe I’ll send another query or two, test the waters one more time. Maybe I’ll take part in #PitMad and give myself another shot to catch some agents’ attention that way. Or maybe a month from now my book will be available on Amazon.com.
While I struggle to make up my mind, I have a WIP that is badly in need of attention, and it involves familiarizing myself with regional Irish accents.