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POINT OF VIEW: Taking a (Little) Break

I am a big believer of listening to what the universe is telling me.

I didn’t like what I heard this last month.

I entered the Pitch Wars contest, confident that I had an amazing manuscript, one that would make heads turn. I chose my four potential mentors carefully, even finding one team who was looking for exactly what I was pitching, and who had a local member. I went to an agent pitch training session at our local writer’s club, and tailored the perfect pitch. And when the clock struck midnight on submission day, I submitted it all right away.

I was confident that I would (at the least) get a request for my full manuscript from one of the mentors.

Then… nothing.

Three of us in the queer writing space who were doing Pitch Wars this year started a group support chat. We analyzed the tweets in #pwteasers together, scrutinizing them for any hint that our books were the ones being discussed. We commiserated about the long wait, and then celebrated when the other two got requests. It was an amazing experience to go through this with them, and I am honored that I got to be a part of their experiences too.

My request never came.

In the end, one of them made it and snagged a mentor. I felt a surge of real joy for them – after all, they were part of our little team, and they got through when so few others did. It was like when someone at our table (I’m looking at you, K-lee Klein) won at bingo at GRL – It wasn’t me, but it was one of us. 🙂

And so I sat back and let my own … failure is the wrong word here … end result wash over me. Clearly the universe was saying “this is not the path for you.”

I’m bummed about it, sure. I mean, how cool would it have been to be one of the ones selected? To work with someone over the next few months to hone my manuscript into a fine instrument of reading pleasure? To have it presented on a silver platter to a bunch of agents in the spring?

But I have made my peace with it. Mostly. LOL…

Under the surface, there are rumblings from my inner critic. “See? I told you that you weren’t good enough. What were you thinking? It was stupid of you to even try.”

I tell him to fuck off.

If I hadn’t tried, I never would have enjoyed the amazing bonding with two of my fellow authors. And it’s not like it was easy.

See, there were 102 mentors or mentor teams in this competition. And 3,500 entries. My own submission was limited to four of those, mentors who had to be looking for just what I was offering, and who had to be struck in just the right way by my story. It’s a recipe for heartbreak.

So now I’m taking a little break from writing (don’t worry, it won’t be long), and reassessing my next steps. I did participate in #dvpit – a twitter diversity pitch event – last week, and I had an agent who wanted to see some pages. So that’s something.

Mark and I also in the midst of relaunching one of our oldest sites – our gay travel site. It’s going to suck up a fair amount of time and energy this month, so this is a good time to back off a bit on writing, and to let things settle down a bit in my head.

As one of my dearest friends told me that sometimes you need to close your eyes and open yourself up to the universe, and see what it’s trying to tell you.

And sometimes you just have to wait to find out.

To my writer friends – do you listen to the universe? Do you ever give yourself breaks to let your writing mind figure things out?

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