Pitching!! The horror (& occasional joy)
Plus a workshop to help you out
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Confession: I absolutely hate pitching. Or at least, this is what I told myself for years.
(In this context, pitching = selling a story to a publication. The way it works is that writers pitch a story idea, and editors say yes, or no, or most often, nothing at all.)
I had a cycle that went something like this:
Optimism: I want to write this awesome story and I just know it’s quality and juicy. It’s going to be great.
Action: I pitch. Look at me, doing the thing!
Disappointment: There is rejection - or worse, and more likely - radio silence.
Existential dread and despair: This process sucks. I suck. Who am I to even call myself a writer? What am I doing with my life? Ugggg.
Rinse and repeat.
Who did I call from my little self-pity bubble the last time around? My talented, successful writer friend Hannah Selinger, who delivered with a pep talk and practical advice and has helped me change my whole pitching perspective.
It doesn’t have to be this way!
I’m breaking my own unpleasant cycle.
In 2023, I’m working my way through 100 pitches (I just sent number 22.) I’m divorcing the process from my worth. I’m celebrating my successes. I’m even keeping track!
Hannah and I are teaming up to host a pitching workshop in April. It is almost sold out, so we went ahead and added a May 3 date, too.
We’re going to teach us everything we know, which is a lot, I promise.
We also have a few scholarship spots - send me a message if you’re interested in this.
A pitching success story from me is that I pitched Bon Appetit for years and years. So many damn years! I got close, but never a yes. And then last year, I got a yes! And now I’m writing for them something like regularly, including my latest: a love letter to my desert island cheese, Harbison. The lesson is that sometimes it takes a lot of persistence, and that’s just part of the process.
Another lesson is that it might feel personal, but it’s very rarely personal. It’s usually about editorial calendars, and directives from bosses, and scheduling, and budgets, and other things that have absolutely nothing to do with you and your brilliant story.
Come to my pitching workshop and dig into what you can do. I’m excited to see you there!