My writer friends and I are repeating the same few sentences, with minor word and pacing changes, until we feel our entire career is best represented in 60 seconds. We’ll be attending a writer conference where the potential to be a name on the cover of a book is higher than during other social activities.
Even though it’s a small conference – sold out with 300 attendees – that’s about the same amount as the books in this picture.
I have red hair so that gives me an edge on the color spectrum for attention. I’ll be wearing the color blue that is represented on all of my online activities. But after that, I’m still just one book in the crowd and unless I’m picked up and my pages are ruffled… This is why one minute makes a difference in a writers life.
Every life can be significantly altered in a minute, or less. The power behind the one-minute-pitch is because we’re in control, or so we assume. We’ve picked the magic carpet we want to ride and have even perfected our Spiderman gloves to hold on if someone tugs at the rug. It’s what we want to do though we know – from those that have done it – it’s never easy to write a book, even after your 300th title hits the shelves.
I’ve wandered around Powell’s City of Books many times and questioned my sanity for this desire to add more clutter to the shelves. I’m thrilled with the new ebook technology as this means I’ll never have to face being out-of-print, though “print” is the wrong word for electronic files. I also know that writing fiction is the hardest work I’ve ever loved. And that’s the answer.
It doesn’t matter that the publishing business statistics resemble random blots in a maze. I love being around people who choose to be involved in the creative challenge of storytelling. That’s what can happen with a good one-minute-pitch. It’s the opportunity to step forth from the secrecy of writing and into the mayhem of wordsmiths and entertainers.
It’s important to distill the how of our career goals, and the why our story is worth a ruffle of pages, into 60 seconds. It requires lots of private repetition and practice because to craft those seconds into words can take a whole week. And the practice is because writers thrive in the world of their stories and are easily distracted in verbal environments.
My primary problem with pitching is I have too much story to tell, and am interested in every story I hear…
Okay, I’ll stop procrastinating and go work on my pitch. And to my writer friends, stop reading and get back to practicing your pitch. One minute could put you on a shelf.