Saturday, August 27, 2016

JOIN: Celebrating Brenda Drake's Pitch Wars 2016!

Every Saturday, join me as I CELEBRATE This Week 
with Ruth Ayres from Discover. Play. Build.

Two years ago around this exactly time, I finished up a revision of my first novel. I felt pretty good. Getting through a revision of a whole manuscript is a feat. It's truly a feat. So I got through it, realized the submission window for Brenda Drake's Pitch Wars was coming, and on a whim, I submitted. 

Maybe on a whim isn't the right was more like it felt scary but worth it and brave and right. The best part was it seemed like a win-win no matter what. If I got in, I would get to experience working with a mentor and have the opportunity to share my work at the agent round. If I didn't get in, my writing life would go on, I would revise and decide what to do next.

Well, I did get in. (Yay! Here as my Celebration post about getting into Pitch Wars in 2014!) I was fortunate enough to work with two brilliant women, Lindsay Currie and Trisha Leaver. They gave me great feedback, I revised like my life depended on it, the agent round came, I got one request, my life went on. 

I didn't get an agent through Pitch Wars but it did move me way further along in my writing journey. I started actively querying after Pitch Wars and since then that manuscript has been through a few different revisions...I don't even know how many at this point. 

This summer I decided to try for Pitch Wars again. I finished up a pretty big overhaul, tightened up my query, and submitted again. The same thoughts went through my mind, it'll be a win-win either way. If I get in, I get great support in revising my manuscript, if I don't get in, I reread, revise, reach out to my reader friends, and I go from there. Well, mentors announced their picks this week and I didn't get in. I was sad for a bit but I'm okay with it. 

Two things I've learned about writing since I was in Pitch Wars in 2014 
(even though I've learned waaaaaaaaaaay more than two things!):

1. People make it possible. (At least for me.) I wouldn't still be writing if it wasn't for people who support me, believe in me, show me what's possible, encourage me, celebrate with me, and see the writer in me. As much as I believe in myself and the stories I have to tell, I'm immensely grateful to all the people who agree with me. 

2. Writing is about perseverance. I love the term win-win because it defines perseverance. I make a move, I see what happens, I make another move. Maybe I have an idea of what I hope and dream and wish will happen when I make a certain move but it doesn't always go as I plan. That's okay, I make another move. See? Win-win. 

Getting to live the writing life with all my writer friends is winning. Writing is the art of keeping on. I'm always somewhere in the writing cycle but as long as I keep riding along, I win.

Thanks for being here to write with me! You win, too!
What are you celebrating today?
Have you taken a risk in your writing life?
And what are some things you've learned along the way?


  1. Your perspective is so positive. I like your explanation of win-win.

  2. I just sent in another manuscript for a picture book, Jen. You're inspiring me to keep going, and best wishes to you in this journey, too!

  3. Wow! Good for you, and keep trying! I've struggled with the perseverance part of writing, so you inspire me.

    1. Aw, they say the people who keep going are the people who make it...and we won't know unless we try, right? I hope you keep going. xoxo

  4. Perseverance pays off for you, Jen. Your attitude is so positive that it moves me to a new place of thought. I am trying to get to the next level of writing so thank you for the inspiration.

    1. Hi Carol! I'm glad this was helpful. Honestly, I cried so hard that night. And I spent a lot of the next day letting myself be sad that I didn't get what I had hoped for...but then it was time to move on. I knew my revision wasn't the best it could possibly be and I always know there are other writers out there who might have something better. So...I just keep going. You can too!

  5. I love this perseverance celebration! I need this! Very inspiring.

    1. Thanks! I'm glad it was helpful! Maybe perseverance needs to be my one little word for! You've got me thinking. :)


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