My adventures with #PitMad
I had a nightmare dream this weekend. I stood before a mirror in a tiny string bikini with one of those boob enhancing tops (Victoria Secrets most likely). I took a bunch of selfies and posted them all over social media sites, grinning all the way.
I woke up with a gasp, a pause, and a flood of relief. It was only a dream. I didn’t just post my body all over the Internet. In real world I would never post a bikini selfie. No way. It’s just not my style.
First of all, I don’t wear string bikinis. My style is more board shorts with an athletic top that can take a plunge in the water without falling off. And even then, I don’t take selfies. My suits are utilitarian, not for sharing with the world.
If I do take a selfie, it looks something like this:
I shared a selfie with you! Note that my eyes are hidden behind my big frames, my face framed by my messy hair, and my body concealed under comfy shirt.
Yesterday I had an experience that matched my weekend sleep. Not the nightmare dream itself, but the absolute dread I experienced just as I woke up and believed I had compromised my vulnerability to the world. Yesterday, #PitMad took place on Twitter. For those of you who are unfamiliar with #PitMad, I believe it’s a creation of the author, Brenda Drake. It’s a Twitter opportunity for writers to get their pitches in front of agents and editors.
A writer creates a short pitch (140 characters) of a completed manuscript and posts it during certain times on a specific day. If agents and editors favor your pitch, you have the opportunity send queries and sample pages.
At first I wasn’t going to participate. It’s not my style. I write books and plays; I’m not a pitch artist. I don’t like shouting out the world, “Hey, look at me! Notice my work!” I’d rather quietly send out query letters the traditional way.
Could an agent or editor judge my work from a pitch? It felt like I was holding out a potato chip when the real menu included a delightful and complex home cooked meal.
But then I thought, why not? It’s just a pitch. A pitch is a valuable thing to write. It helps writers get to the essence of their work and consider theme.
Creating pitches wasn’t too difficult, but those short blurbs didn’t feel right. How can a pitch truly reveal the motivations of my main character? How can I convey what she truly wants? She is a girl with both an urgent drive and overwhelming doubt. She learns to trust her own human ingenuity and learn to love and accept those around her. And how can I cram the fantasy world with all the landscape, creatures, and magic I created into 140 characters?
I paused before I Tweeted. Who would judge me? Who would think, “Gosh, Michèle, how desperate are you?”
I also found a fake PitMad hashtag. Here’s mine:
Discouraged writer laments her fate considers career as a hermit potter or impostor nun. #fakepitmad
See, it’s easy for me to be self depreciating and sarcastic. It was much harder to be honest and say, “Please favor my pitch!”
Because I experience fear–a fear that wakes me up when I’m not having selfie dreams. A fear that aches and catches my breath. A fear I push away over and over again so fear doesn’t ruin my life.
What if no one wants to read what I wrote?
When I see all the other pitches I am both alarmed and, well, connected. Alarmed because so many writers reach out to get noticed. The competition is fierce. This is nothing new, however.
I feel connected because I think, perhaps, many of those writers feel like I do.
It’s scary to put yourself out in the world, yet we’re doing it together in our collective vulnerability.
Now #PitMad is over, and I can return to my quieter approach to reaching out. No more bikini selfies.
Would I do Pitch Madness again?
It’s not a bad idea, not at all,
I hope in the most humongous way I won’t need to pitch on Twitter again.