First the Wind-up and Then the Pitch (Day 263)

(photo credit: DSC_6190 by Truman Tigers on

Sometimes the hardest part of writing a book is staying in your seat and writing the words. Sometimes it is figuring out how to make a point through character interplay rather than through straight prose. Sometimes it is recognizing that something you’ve written and love doesn’t fit into the book no matter how beautiful it is. And sometimes it is stepping back from the work and trying to describe it in a couple of pithy sentences that will make somebody else want to read it.

That’s what I’ve been working on the last few days: turning the plot and characters and theme of a 300-plus page novel into a 30-second pitch that will leave an agent thirsty for more. It is torturous work. I want to get the heart of the story across while also revealing the characters’ personalities and showing why this is a book that a whole lot of other people will find compelling. On top of that, I need to show that I can write well through description and explanation rather than pages of copy for them to read.

I’m going to a publishing conference on Saturday and meeting with a couple of agents, who represent work similar to mine. I get ten minutes with each agent to get them excited about a nobody in the literary world who could have written a terrible book. I feel confident that my story and the writing is worth the read, but figuring out how to communicate that to somebody who knows nothing about you or your work is intimidating.

Thankfully, I have a few writing friends who are helping me along by providing feedback on the pitch that I am putting together. Still, in the end, it comes down to my ability to articulate in limited time why they should consider trying to sell my book.

The hardest part of the pitching process is knowing that you’ve communicated well only to discover that the content of the book doesn’t interest them. Or that you as the writer don’t interest them. Or that they’ve taken too many risks lately and despite loving what you offer, don’t want to risk their careers over trying to sell your book.

If I could ask a favor: If you think of it, on Saturday at 11:20 and 3:10, think good thoughts about me for ten minutes. My expectations are realistic but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to ask for any help I can get, even if it is knowing that people are supporting me with their thoughts.

So set your iPhone alarms, or at least let me know that if you happen to notice the clock at 11:20 and/or 3:10 on Saturday, you will take a moment to think good thoughts for me.

We all want to know that in whatever we do, we are not alone.


I write about daily life, arts & culture, food, books, nature, animals, parenting, relationships, self-discovery, & more.

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6 thoughts on “First the Wind-up and Then the Pitch (Day 263)

  1. You got it, Sara. Have had a few of those “send good vibes” moments myself lately and I think they really help! Good luck.

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