As the youngest of five I learned how to hold my own early on. At the dinner table I knew just where to reach so I could grab the last of the mashed potatoes (which always went quickly). When I got home from school, I formed my own type of stealth to hide from the relentless nuggies and pink bellies that always awaited me. But being the youngest in a sea of siblings also taught me how to deal with a crowd.
I’ve never had trouble speaking in front of others. In fact, when I worked at Ingram Book Group, I had to speak to 200 skeptical suits at Book Expo America about a new order-on-demand program while I was six months pregnant. Talk about intimidating.
So what does all of this have to do with a pitch contest? Well, it’s simple. I can talk to a crowd without even breaking a sweat, but ask me to enter my pitch in a contest and I get all kinds of queasy.
For me it’s all about the unknown. Putting my work out there for everyone to see and critique. And of course, it’s a thousand times worse when it’s an agent looking at my pitch.
Will they like it?
Will they hate it?
Will they say I can’t write and I should just pack up my computer and go home?
These are all the thoughts that spin through my head as I wonder if I should enter a contest.
This time, I pushed all my worries aside and jumped into the WriteOnCon Pitch-Fest with my latest manuscript, FIGHTING CHANCE – http://writeoncon.com/forum/showthread.php?11186-Rushall-7-FIGHTING-CHANCE
I have no grand ideas about where this contest will take me. I can’t imagine I will be like one of those authors I’ve often interviewed who were magically selected by an agent and then went on to sign a three-book deal. Entering this contest is more about the feedback for me.
And I like the fact that not only agents, but bloggers and avid readers can join in on the fun and even vote for their favorites.
So if you have some time today, stop by the WOC Pitch-Fest and check out some of the amazing 350 pitches, and if you feel inclined vote for a few. Many writers like myself would welcome the feedback as we try to make our publishing dreams come true.