If you haven't been following Pitch University, with its lessons on pitching from industry experts and opportunities to pitch to agents from the comfort of your home, then you've been missing out on some real gems.
I've been participating with comments and pitches from day one, so Diane asked me to do a short interview on what I've learned in the process.
At the time of the interview, I couldn't think of an answer for the "personal theme music" question, so I used the answer my husband gave me when I asked him, "What music do you hear when you think of me?"
But afterwards, I thought of the Chumbawumba song "I Get Knocked Down" and how that's what the early stages of querying and pitching felt like back in my naive days, when I thought just completing a book would have agents and editors knocking down my door. When that didn't happen (much to my utter shock), I started researching dream agents and sent off my queries. Only to discover that the "dreamy" feeling wasn't mutual--they just weren't that into my book. Or at least not that early draft.
But meanwhile I was taking steps to change that dynamic:
I joined some critique groups
I started reading every book and blog I could find on craft, marketing, and networking (and started my own blog, joined twitter and facebook)
Went to a few conferences
And most importantly, I went back and applied the things I learned to that mess of an early draft of my novel
All these things helped give me the confidence and the writing chops to take that feeling of "I get knocked down" and add the rest of the song lyric: "But I get up again, you're never going to keep me down." And that's what makes me send out the next query or enter the next contest. Or submit a video pitch for that matter.
So, dear readers, what about you--what keeps you sending out that next query? What do you do to further your writing skills?