Yesterday I participated in my second ever Pitmad.
For those of you who don’t know, Pitmad is a pitch event held on Twitter four times a year. Hopeful authors tweet up to three 280 character (or less) pitches, and industry professionals (agents, editors, and publishers) “like” the ones they find compelling. A “like” is an invitation to query/submit to them.
It’s a cool idea, right? The problem for us writers is over saturation. I read somewhere that there were close to half a million Pitmad pitches tweeted yesterday. HALF A MILLION! If you think about how hard it is to beat Twitter’s algorithms on a normal day, you’ll realize how difficult it is to get seen during a Twitter pitch event. It breaks my heart when writers tweet about how discouraged they are not to have received “likes” from industry professionals. For all they know, no one even saw their pitch!
Pitmad is an awesome opportunity. Some successful authors have found their agent and launched their career through pitch contests like Pitmad, and I want to make sure I don’t miss out on something great by not giving myself a chance. That said, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy Pitmad at all if I focused on agent “likes” during the contest. That’s what I did the first time around, and I was an anxious wreck. I checked my feed obsessively all day and fell deeper into disappointment every time I didn’t get that elusive “heart”.
This time, I approached Pitmad differently. Instead of dreaming about what-ifs, I thought of yesterday as a time to network with fellow writers, to test my pitches, and to check out other stories being queried alongside mine. When you look at Pitmad in this way, it becomes something new. I wasn’t stressed or anxious at all. I had fun, I made connections within the Writing Community, others expressed enthusiasm for my story, and best of all, I was able to support amazing writers. Pitmad became something beyond pitching and hoping. I didn’t check for hearts often, and I didn’t expect any. That made finding one even *better* than it would have been.
If you pitched yesterday and didn’t get a like from an industry professional, remember how many pitches there were. Remember how busy agents/editors/publishers are. And take heart. Not receiving a like at Pitmad doesn’t mean your story isn’t worthy. It’s just what happens when so many hopeful writers flood the Twitter feeds. I’d suggest thinking of future Pitmads primarily as an opportunity to get to know fellow querying writers (with the added bonus of maybe being seen by agents!) You’ll take something great away, no matter what.
To those who got “hearts” – congratulations! I hope you connected with your future agent/editor/publisher. To those who didn’t – I’ll see you in the query trenches 😉