For anyone worrying that I would blog about Pitch Wars for the rest of my days, I am happy to assure you that this will be the third and final entry specifically about Pitch Wars. I knew I would write about what it felt like to finally get in, then pick up again in the midst of my editing struggles. But it was a real challenge deciding when to end things.
After all, my pitch doesn’t go up for agents to see until the end of this week, and I won’t be sending any queries or requested material out until the end of next week. And between you and me–lean in close–my manuscript won’t be completely finished with its polishing stage until around the 7th or 8th of November.
So why am I posting my third blog entry now?
I’ve given a lot of thought to what “the end” of Pitch Wars means to me. Interestingly enough, this contest seems far more filled with beginnings than endings. Here are some of my beginnings:
I am beginning some incredible relationships with my mentors and fellow mentees that I hope will last a lifetime.
I am beginning a round of queries for my manuscript.
I am beginning a new job at Book People (remember my poem from a few posts ago? I got the job!) as a bookseller in the children’s literature department.
I am beginning to pick up some of my other projects in fiction.
I (finally!) am beginning to step back into my love of writing academic papers on children’s literature.
There is a lot ahead on the path, and with so many dazzling opportunities and open windows, it can feel like I’m only getting started. But my time as an active Pitch Wars mentee has been like no other period in my writing life, and it would be wrong to gloss over this time as mere preparation for what is to come. I just went through a writing boot camp, and I’ve arrived at the end. That’s what I want to talk about now.
Today, as Halloween draws in, I am celebrating finishing four distinct rounds of revising, including rewriting my book, restructuring the plot in two separate rounds, and line editing. By November 10th, I will have finished my fifth and final round of polishing.
Soon pieces of my manuscript will be posted on the internet, and more pieces will be sent along with query letters to agents I respect and admire. But what happens after that is out of my hands. I cannot control what others will think of my book. In this tiny moment, my words and I are holding each other like dear friends about to say their goodbyes. Our time of revision, rethinking, reoutlining, restructuring, is done. I used to be afraid to say that, but now I’m not. I know I have poured every part of myself into this manuscript. It gets to fly or fall, but either way, no outcome can diminish my experience. I am drawing the line here. This is my ending of Pitch Wars and I have loved every second of it.
It’s time to continue my writing journey by beginning somewhere new.