So, I didn’t walk away from Pitch Slam last week with a glorious offer of representation handed to me by my dream agent. Nor did I walk away with requests for more pages. After a couple few undisclosed amount of minutes filled with, crying, flailing and gnashing of teeth, I realized that it’s okay.
I’m disappointed that I didn’t get requests, but as the lovely contest organizers said, “That doesn’t mean you’re writing is bad.” It simply means that *MY* agent didn’t happen to read my entry.
There were around 180 entries over 4 age categories, with at least 8-10 different genres being read by only 5 registered agents participating in the contest. You do the math. (Seriously, you do it. I hate math.)
The odds were slim to start.
Just like the odds of landing an agent in the “traditional” way.
I have to admit there have been a few dire moments recently when I thought of giving up. I gave into thoughts of self-doubt (Maybe I’m not good enough to be a “real” writer…) I questioned my instincts. (Maybe this kind of story just won’t sell right now…) I decided that I just wasn’t tough enough for this business.
It wasn’t a fun place to be.
Then I spoke with my writer friends and realized each of them have had these same thoughts. Even the big name writers have been plagued with these thoughts at some point along the way. Those writers–the JK Rowlings, and the Stephen Kings –they had those thoughts. What they did after them is what makes all the difference. They blocked them like they were Kareem Abdul-Jabbar under the basket. (Yeah, I just googled that sports reference.)
This Tuesday I’m making an effort to block those negative thoughts. And I’m looking back at my story and falling in love with it all over again. Sure, there may be edits still yet to come, but at the end of the day, I will fight for this story to be told. I want to find an agent that will fight alongside me. That person is out there somewhere. When we find each other, there will be no stopping us. The rejection, the doubts and the questions may rise to the surface from time to time. But it’s what I do after them that makes the difference.