I wrote this almost a year ago. Now that my story is finally ready for the pitching stage, I thought it appropriate to share again :-).
The elevator pitch. In the writing world, it’s a short summary of your book that can be told to a prospective agent/editor/publisher in the time it takes to get from one floor to the next on an elevator. For a wordy introvert like myself (I’ve been known to counter my shyness with excessive talking) it’s an enticement to take the stairs.
An elevator pitch is just one of many tools a new writer must have in her belt. And I’m not talking about a cute belt. I’m talking a manly, well-stocked, durable belt that’s multi-pocketed and ready for the long haul.
When stepping out of the dream of one day becoming a writer and landing into the hard reality of pursuing publication, you quickly learn terms like elevator pitch, query letter, synopsis, and - somebody fan me - rejection letters. You start stocking the pockets of your belt with resources to enhance your ability, hammers to keep you pounding away on the keyboard, measuring tapes to keep you persevering, and salves to thicken your skin. And you don a hard-hat to keep you from getting discouraged when you learn that even with the best of tools many don’t make it in this business. And soon enough comes your moment of truth.
I’ve never been fond of rejection. And though I can take criticism, I’d prefer it gently if at all possible. As for putting myself out there (pitching, sharing my fears and failures, digging in and doing the writing) to think nothing may ever come of it…well, that’s altogether a very frightening prospect. As I learned about the odds and stared down my own inhibitions, I had to really ask myself: Am I up for this?
Answer? I am.
Though the publishing world is like a well established building – with bestselling authors and timeless books dressing it in grand arches, majestic steeples, and ancient friezes - there’s always room for a new wing on the latest floor. And whether that wing be expansive, or cozy and closet-like, I think I can make good use of it. I have stories to tell and a world to tell them to.
So while the solitude of the stairs is a comfortable choice – and physically healthy in a literal sense – this writer is training her introvert to come out of her shell, sticking her nervous Chatty Cathy in the timeout corner, sucking in a deep breath, saying a prayer (and another, then another)…and taking the elevator.
Image courtesy of Gregory Szarkiewicz / FreeDigitalPhotos.net