The rub on contests

If you’re an aspiring author with dreams of being published here’s the one thing on your ‘need to know’ list.

You can’t do this writing thing in isolation guys. I know it’s hard. I wrote for years without anyone knowing. I didn’t create a profile on twitter or a blog because, well I own a business and I’m already active on twitter and blogging, how was I going to manage two? I didn’t even know how to create a separate twitter profile. And further, I never wanted the two worlds to collide – seriously never the two shall meet – because who wants clients reading all this very personal stuff.

So, I watched and read from the sidelines for a few years, I submitted to Pitch Wars, but I didn’t really participate.

Until, finally I figured out how to create my own blog, how to create a separate twitter account. I started to interact. And wow, there’s a whole load of learnings out there online and people who genuinely want to connect. I knew this, I mean I’m a marketer, I know all this. But I didn’t think it all applied to me, personally.

Once I got out there – I found links to other author blogs with writing and publishing tips, bloggers in my genre, and twitter parties – cp matches. That’s the other thing about not doing this in isolation. You might be the most awesome writer and your MS may be full of awesomeness, but I can guarantee you, if no one else has read it, it’s probably not as ready for publication as you think it is.

When I found my cp matches through a twitter pitch party (the fabulous @MeganGrimit does these regularly), that’s when I finally got real, valuable input into how to make my MS shine. I found where certain areas resonated, things I’d written I wasn’t sure about were the exact areas my CP’s said they loved! Places where I was stuck, I could brainstorm. Mistakes I was making. For all that is sweet and wonderful in this world, I’d found people who get me!

This year, instead of participating in Pitch Wars passively – I was all-in. I tweeted, pimped my bio, asked questions, got answers. I joined the community and let me tell you, this is why you want to participate in contests.

We all know the stats. For this year’s Pitch Wars just over 9 % got in, so the likelihood of my MS being one of the chosen ones was, well statistically slim. But the learnings, there’s no stats to measure what you will learn that you can apply to your writing. And now that’s it over, don’t stop, keep connecting, keep learning, keep writing. Don’t stay in isolation!

A gif tribute to all of you to put yourself out there!

Gatsby two

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