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Writer Wednesday: FOMO & the Writer, the Sequel

Good morning authors and welcome to another Writer Wednesday. It's been a wild ride with the release of Unravel this month and we are revving up for our upcoming releases plus exciting news coming soon. Industry wise, there is always a torrent of happenings going on and in the writing community. After a decade, #PitchWars has officially closed its doors. Pitch Wars and #Pitmad were volunteer based projects, which is wild when you think about the extent and depth of operations. Between the mentorships, pitch events, and agents showcases, it helped launch many authors to the next level and was a source of hopeful inspiration for others. If you were chosen for Pitch Wars, you were still motivated to push for it and many authors ended up sending out queries despite it. The operation itself wasn't immune controversy and saw a few upsets over the years but has closed down on a generally decent note.

FOMO & The Writer, the Sequel

Now, while the legacy of the program is impressive, whether you were a fan of Pitch Wars or not, there is no denying the void left in its place. Pitch Wars was a massive program, with dozens and dozens of volunteers and a mind boggling amount of participants each year. I've talked before about pitch events and the FOMO or fear of missing out that hits our community so hard regarding these events, even if we are physically, mentally, or emotionally incapable of taking on the effort and work at the time. With Pitch Wars closing its doors, there are many authors experiencing the feeling they've missed the boat. The train has left the station and the station has closed.

You might be feeling bereft at the loss of another opportunity in the morass of publishing and that is okay. There was a huge amount of FOMO that constantly surrounded Pitch Wars because of that ever tempting lure of the agent showcase, despite the reality of follow through. When a pathway closes, you can't help feeling that sense of disappointment. If I had tried a little harder. If I pushed myself to meet the submission window. If I asked for help fine tuning my manuscript and submission package. If, if, if. We often torture ourselves with what ifs. We kick ourselves for not getting work done on time to meet this or that opportunity or wonder if we could scramble to create something for a cool opportunity and then beat ourselves up if we miss it. Seeing the stream of announcements about book deals and landing agents within the same online community can leave you feeling anxious of ever reaching those heights even though those very same authors went through years of FOMO and struggle themselves.

There is a lot going on right now, in the industry, in the world at large, and many of us have been struggling to find our footing with the ground constantly shifting beneath us. While we have seen the end of an era with the closing of Pitch Wars, more opportunities will rise to fill that void. It might not be the same, or even similar, but the beauty of publishing in this era, stressful as it can be, is that there are currently so many paths for authors to explore. It can be overwhelming. It can be kind of terrifying to wade through, exploring new platforms and technologies, taking risks you never thought you would take, and experiencing all the failures and successes on those new pathways.

The FOMO never dies. There is always something that triggers our sense of missing out, but luckily, there are always new opportunities rolling out to take its place. Opportunity doesn't always knock. Sometimes you have to tackle it to the ground. Remember to keep your eyes and your mind open, and as always, be kind to yourself out there.

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