Friday, August 12, 2016

Mindgames and Mindsets

When it comes to writing contests and making submissions, I've had both success and ... not success. Both required patience while waiting for results. Neither gave me the head trip I've been on this last week after submitting to #Pitchwars.

What is Pitch Wars? It's a fantastic opportunity to gain a professional literary business mentor who will help you whip your full manuscript into shape with the goal of presenting your query and first page to an online gathering of agents. In past years, about half the participating mentees walked away with agents.

Unlike other submissions, this one comes with a full on, engaged Twitter community. Which is great-really. The mentors and the mentee hopefuls are kind and uplifting. They are endlessly supportive and giving. They are also a group of relentless teasers. (Which, to be honest, is half the fun.)

Literally, as in #PWTeasers.
Thus, the mindgames.

I've been following the Twitter feed for a week now-a habit I never had before. I'm pulled in by the hope, the slight (yes, 1% chance this year) promise my manuscript will get picked for mentorship.

I started trolling the feeds. Searching for teasers about my MS. Scanning for hints a mentor read, liked, and will maybe pick my submission. I laugh at the wit and banter and tell myself to stay strong, knowing a hint about my MS is bound to pop up.

Now, I am trying to keep my game face on. The one that does not let the slow, creepy crazy show through. Did I enter the correct email address on the sub form? Did the file really upload correctly? I think one mentor got it-so does that mean the others did too? I read there were a few upload glitches-what if mine was one and I never find out? I could miss my chance. So many doubts.

Reading the #Pitchwars and #PWTeaser posts from so many upbeat people reminds me a lot of Growth Mindset.

Growth Mindset is a huge buzz word/phrase in education, but is applicable anywhere.
Basically, if you believe you can make positive changes and continued growth, then you can.

The human brain is remarkable. You've heard of dendrites and synapses, those parts of the brain which carry electrical impulses and information? You can make more of them and then connect them together to create a sort of superhighway for information transfer.

The brain can also shut down, or at least parts will not function at their fullest potential if you have deficits. Deficits can come in many forms, like self doubt.

These lead toward Fixed Mindsets, or the idea that you cannot get any better than you are right now.

Though they do not know it, the people of Pitch Wars are reminding me to keep my Growth Mindset and 'stick-to-it-iveness'. I may not get a mentorship. I may not even get my current manuscript published. But I believe I have the guts to continue and the will to learn more.

Success is in my future!

Once again, the writing community is teaching me a lesson.


  1. Mindset is everything. (Just ask the Olympians.) You have it right!

  2. Fingers and toes are crossed! You got this!!