I recently saw a post asking for reasons why a writer might reconsider submitting their manuscript to #PitchWars.
Here is what I answered, plus an additional explanation (beyond the Twitter word limit):
Sadly, I struggle with writing (I need support) But when I entered last year-I never heard back. I waited-wishing & hoping-eager for any criticism-I’m open to even the most critical critiques – anything would’ve been better than being left in the dark thinking, “I’m not worthy.”
I know it sounds like I’m committing the ultimate writing sin: doubting myself and my work.
But let us be truly honest. The fact is, that even the greatest writing legends, the Pulitzer Prize winners and the praise-worthy minds in literature of all time, at some point, were stricken by self-doubt. Many of those writers were supported by personal fans or loved ones who urged them along. While, others, the ones that got harsh criticism or ridicule, were fueled by the desire to “show them all” it could be done; that their writing could be good, even publishable.
So, what do these two writer-types have in common, you may ask. The answer in one word is: FEEDBACK. Whether they received tender words of encouragement or cruel rejection letters, the fact remains they get some sort of feedback to act on – to (perhaps even) guide them. The smallest piece of advice can mean a great deal to struggling writers.
In short, after slaving over my manuscript for years, when I finally decided on Pitchwars – after researching and reading over the editors’ pages for hours to ensure I was sending my story to the right person, so it would be the right fit (and what they were specifically looking for on their “wish list”) – I clicked the send button and sat back and waited…and waited…and waited. I was beyond excited to receive the email confirmation that they had received my submission and I waited…and I waited….and I waited. Their decision time came and went and I never heard back from anyone. Now, don’t get me wrong, I understand the thousands of submissions they must receive and the difficult task of getting back to everyone who submitted – but I guess I figured, if the eternally ultra-busy Harlequin publishing company can email me a form letter to explain their choice to reject my manuscript, I figured PitchWars could’ve too.
Therefore, this year, I’m not sure I have the courage to put my work out there again and have it go completely ignored. I would, if I knew I’d get at least a single line that read: “We regret your mss is not a good fit for us.” But, the thought that I will get NOTHING back again is heartbreaking.
I am without resentment, and very happy for all the writers they help and have helped in the past get ready for their publishing showcase. But maybe this year (in a year where I feel I cannot take any more defeat) I might stick to my inspirational sessions and rewatch the GREAT and incomparable Margaret Atwood in her very pragmatic Masterclass, and continue to bang away at the keys. In her own words, “A word, after a word, after a word is power.”
Or maybe, by Sept. 27, I might decide to resubmit and try and try again. After all, that is the business. IDK.