I’m hitting the home stretch on Pitch Wars, and it’s blowing my mind how much I’ve grown as a writer and changed as a person during this marathon of revising and rewriting and brainstorming and dreaming. Here are a few things I’ve learned.
Mental health days are good. I’ve been working nonstop since about 60 days before the Pitch Wars deadline. After I turned in my submission, I dove into revisions on another manuscript. This non-stop pace has taught me that I have two choices: Take occasional breaks, or enjoy a complete physical and emotional meltdown. Days off are crucial.
This community is the best. The private mentee FB group has been active every single day of Pitch Wars. We may be “competing” but we’re not acting like it. It’s the opposite of all those reality shows. We are here to make friends, and it’s amazing. Shared resources, shoulders to cry on, group hysterics, critique and support. So cool. I’ve found my people.
I couldn’t have done it alone. GATHOS has been gathering dust on my hard drive for a long time. I’ve picked it up occasionally, but no matter how hard I banged on it, it wasn’t becoming the story I knew it could be. My mentor Linsey Miller’s fresh eyes and fresh perspective and fresh ideas gave me the boost I needed to revise and rewrite and reshape this book. It’s OK to need help.
I can do this. I’m a single mom with a full time job. For a long time I told myself there was no room in my life for my writing career. But the deadlines of Pitch Wars have showed me that I can make this happen. It means letting other things slide. (I haven’t worked out in two months and I’m not getting enough sleep.) But I can do this. And now I know I can do this moving forward.
I don’t read enough. The publishing industry might feel slow from a production standpoint, but it’s churning out more books than anyone could keep up with. Reading comps and recommendations and book-chatter has taught me that I’m not as well-read as I used to be. Time to dig deeper.
My friends are really patient. I’ve been talking about nothing but Pitch Wars since before September, and my friends are not only patient — they’re completely supportive. I don’t throw the word blessed around often but in this case it applies. I’m so blessed to have a support system of people who are genuinely enthusiastic about this journey.
Photo by Microsiervos/Flickr Creative Commons