Let me tell you guys a story of my Thursday morning, March 5, 2020.
It’s surprising how much a small bit of hope can push you. Obviously, there’s legions of YA novels that discuss this very topic, but I think most readers see this lesson and move on.
We don’t consider it. Absorb it. Process what the author was trying to tell us about the might hope represents.
Hope is a motivator. A mover. It shakes your soul, rattles your bones, all the while your fingers are typing and mind is racing. Just a little bit of hope.
Last week was #PitMad on Twitter. For the uninitiated, according to the event’s official website:
#PitMad is a pitch party on Twitter where writers tweet a 280-character pitch for their completed, polished, unpublished manuscripts. Agents and editors make requests by liking/favoriting the tweeted pitch.
Every unagented writer is welcome to pitch. All genres/categories are welcomed.
So, I was awoken at 3am, Thursday morning, for the boys’ nighttime snack. For the last two weeks I’ve started staying awake after they finish up. It’s easier for me to work if they’re asleep because, duh, both boys are asleep. My wife takes this opportunity to catch up on her rest because she is a champion and has to wake up in the middle of the night to feed two adorable little grubbins. So most of the time it’s me, a cup of coffee or a Nespresso Latte, my Bullet Journal with plans for the day, and, maybe a round of Morning Pages to shake the cobwebs off.
After wrapping an early morning freelance assignment on this particular morning (Hello, east coast time!) I did what I always do: took to Twitter to cool down. This might sound strange since Twitter can be equated to a burning trash fire being peed on by the gods on any given day, but I’ve curated a series of Lists to feed me comic book news, publishing bits, or just entertaining internet personalities funny thoughts on video games. Whatever. It keeps the mind clean. Curate your social media.
I noticed the #PitMad hashtag trending in my feeds. I have a completed manuscript (Well, mostly. Well, almost all of one. Project: GREY’s first chapter was still being edited.) I have a PitMad pitch from the last time I thought about doing this. (Which I withdrew because I didn’t read the rules and didn’t have a complete, polished manuscript at the time.)
This time, I thought, “Hey, lets give this a try. Could be fun, right? I’ll finish the 1st chapter later this week and, if by some random chance an agent does like my post, I’ll have it down.”
So I put up this pitch (which, at the time of writing, is the most information I’ve put out about Project: GREY):
And then I set about working on rewriting that 1st chapter I’d been putting off for weeks. Poring over sentences, adjusting the grammar, fixing the conventions I typed up on my phone and BOOM.
A completed first chapter. Perfect. Finished.
Then, there was a Retweet.
Then another. Then more. Soon, the pitch had some serious traction in the morning hours. 22 Retweets with some positive comments saying how they wish they could read it now. People responded positively.
A glimmer. A flash.
Suddenly, that shoddy first chapter needed more fixing. More revision. Throughout the day I got to work, whenever or wherever I could. On break at my tutoring job. In the car, with a notebook at every red light.
Suddenly, again, I was shown exactly how I should be working all the time. How I should be thinking, writing, advancing forward in all the stories I have. And, once more, suddenly, the door opened and I saw this is how it’s supposed to be.
A Like. Technically, 4 Likes, but three of them were from fans of the book. While the rules state that only certified Book Agents should Like the book while all fans can leave comments and Retweet, it’s still nice to see some love for my little novel.
A Like. A Like from an Agent. An Agent liked my book.
Just one. One agent saying across the void of space, “Hey. I liked this idea. Send me your pitch.”
The doors weren’t just opened. They were blasted apart into splinters. That hope, that spark, became a raging inferno that pushed me to finish editing the book the rest of the day. I sat in the front seat of my wife’s car on the way to family dinner, editing, fretting over if it was good enough to send to the agent who requested to see it.
But I didn’t have time to think. I only had time to polish. Polish up that first chapter to send. Instinctual choices lead me to finally submitting it.
It’s ready. Project: GREY can finally be sent out.
See how far a little hope goes?
There’s been no word yet on the book, if it’s been accepted or rejected and, honestly, that’s not the point of this article. It’s that if someone gives you hope in the smallest of ways, capitalize, take it, run with it, and see how far you get.
Thanks for reading,