Just in case anybody on the internets hasn't heard - or kind of forgot, because I almost did - tomorrow is Pitch Madness. I was so excited when this first came across my Twitter feed because, I think, at the time I'd just finished Two for the Rent. It would be such a big change from what I had pitched in the last contest she held - Sage - and, considering the feedback I got when I pitched it during a hashtag event, I was pretty damn excited. This could be what lands me something bigger and better. Pitching it in 35 words isn't a problem, I'm more than comfortable with my first 250 words, and all screens are pointing toward giving this a shot.
No problem, right?
I did a lot of thinking today, and yesterday, too, watching stuff come through my Twitter feed and trying to feel that same excitement I felt last semester when I damn near missed the entry window. And while I am kind of excited, and I'm really hopeful, I won't be entering Two for the Rent. I can't. Not in good conscience.
It's finished, yes, but it's not complete.
As much as I want to throw it out there and hope for the best, and feel happy and kind of safe in knowing there could be a better market for it than Sage, it's nowhere near where it needs to be. Where it should be to be entering contests. It needs at least a full second draft, and I won't waste an agent's time, nor take somebody's spot that has a complete and polished manuscript ready to go. I couldn't do that.
I won't do that.
So I'll wait for the next one. There will be other contests. There's also always good old fashioned querying when the time comes, but for now I'll sit on it, keep plodding along with the second draft and the second book in the series. And we'll see what happens down the road. A little at odds with the carpe diem lifestyle, but the timing's not right. I wish it was. Damn, do I wish it was. This, however, is all part of the process, and the learning curve. A learning curve where a large part is knowing when you're ready, and when you're not. Realizing you're not can be a little hard to swallow. It's part of the journey, though, the whole process of going from idea to manuscript to, hopefully, at one end of the road, an agent. My process for this particular project still has a ways to go. It smarts, but I recognize I'm not where I should be for a contest like this at this time.
To all those entering tomorrow, I wish you the best of luck. I'll be there for the next one.