Stoic Adventure #2: Applying for a Writing Mentorship

Hello from NYC! After a month of lounging around my parents’ house in NJ, getting spoiled with three home-cooked meals a day, taking as many relaxing baths as possible, and getting a much-needed break from the sweet chaos that is New York City, I’m finally back in my apartment!

I’m happy to report Stoic Adventure #1 is going great. I officially hit the halfway mark yesterday, and so far I haven’t missed a single day. New Year motivation really is a magical thing, because there were definitely some days old me would have skipped, like yesterday when I spent the whole day binging Bling Empire with my sister and brother-in-law. Instead of ignoring that little message from Netflix that’s basically saying, “Uh are you okay? You’re watching A LOT of TV. Maybe you should go outside or something…” and forging ahead to the next episode, I asked if we could take a break so I could work on my practice. I’m still by no means an expert yogi, but I can feel my body getting stronger and I’m just feeling more zen overall. I’ll be writing a more in-depth post about the experience at the end of the challenge.

Which brings us to my next adventure of the year: entering Author Mentor Match. For those who aren’t familiar, this is a program that pairs inexperienced writers with writers who already have agents or have been published/are soon to be published. You have to have a completed manuscript to enter, because the whole point of the program is to work with your mentor to get your manuscript ready for the querying stage, which is when aspiring writers try to nab an agent.

It’s quite a competitive program, with over 1500 applications this year. You’re only allowed to submit to four mentors, and I’ve seen mentors tweeting about how they’ve each gotten about 200 submissions. That means my chance of getting selected is roughly 0.5%.

There are lots of these sorts of online publishing contests out there, and you would think as someone who’s dreamed of being a published author since she was 12, I’d take full advantage of these opportunities. Ha! That would be entirely too reasonable. A reasonable person would think to themselves:

“What’s the worst that could happen? So maybe I won’t win, but I’ve got nothing to lose. If I do win, it’ll be a great experience, so I might as well try.”

Here’s what I think to myself:

“What if they think my writing is terrible? What if I find out I’ll never be an author? What if I lose? That’ll be the worst thing ever.” *insert heavy sweating and hyperventilating*

Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but rejection seriously freaks me out. I will do everything in my power to avoid it…which is why I knew applying to this mentorship would make for the perfect Stoic adventure.

I was fortunate to receive a lot of support from friends when I told them I was thinking about entering. My writing group helped bring my submission materials up to par and another friend copyedited my application for me. Usually I don’t tell other people when applying to stuff like this, mainly because the idea of having to tell them I didn’t get in is not very fun, but I was heartened by how much effort everyone put in to help me out.

The day I submitted, I looked over all my materials about five times before hitting submit. It was terrifying, but also exhilarating. Once it was out of my hands, I felt a little calmer knowing I’d done everything I could. Whether or not I was chosen, I was proud of myself for putting my work out there and taking advantage of a good opportunity. I already felt a little braver…

That was, until I got an email in my inbox a little over 24 hours later. It was from the program, letting me know that at least one of the mentors had enjoyed the first 50 pages of my manuscript enough to want to read the whole thing. They asked if I could send my full manuscript for their consideration. Abuzz with nervous and excited energy, I sent my manuscript their way.

I’ll know whether or not I made it into the program a few weeks from now, on February 3rd. Even though it was an encouraging sign that someone wanted to read more, I know based on how many people applied, the odds still aren’t in my favor. Still, I already feel like I got some great things just out of the experience of applying. I remembered what a supporting group of friends and writing community I have in my life, and I also learned I could be brave and that putting my writing out there isn’t the scary thing I’d made it out to be.

While I wait to hear back about the results, I’m not going to put my writing on pause. I received a lot of helpful feedback from my writing group, who read my manuscript over the holidays. I’m going to be delving straight into my revisions, so that even if I don’t make it into the program, I’ll still have made some progress and I’ll be in a good place with my writing. And then after that, who knows? The funny thing is, now that I’ve entered one contest, I want to enter ALL the contests. Might as well…what have I got to lose?

8 thoughts on “Stoic Adventure #2: Applying for a Writing Mentorship

  1. I get your fear of rejection, as I have it too, but look at what happened from taking that leap. I believe the universe favours things in motion, and now that you are, you’re just going to continue moving forward if you choose to. Wishing you all the best!

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  2. Good for you for being scared and doing it anyway! You have nothing to lose and experience to gain! Sometimes I find it’s that first step that’s difficult but once you’ve taken it, it’s easier to continue on. Much luck on your application!! *crossing fingers for you*

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  3. The best of luck with your writing mentorship! You have to shoot your shot, you know? Do let us know how it goes.

    All the best, Michelle (michellesclutterbox.com)

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  4. I’m not doing good on the stoic adventure of working out daily. I did good for a few days and then this weekend I was over at a friend’s place and it totally got derailed. But so happy that you’re doing well on your yoga challenge! Good luck with your mentorship program. I don’t know why we let fear of rejection hold ourselves from applying for such great opportunities. There’s only stuff to gain and nothing to lose. Hope you get it. *fingers crossed*

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    1. That’s okay that you missed a few days! Recently I’ve been trying to be less hard on myself and accepting of the fact that doing something imperfectly is so much better than striving for perfection, failing, and giving up. Thank you for the good luck!!

      Liked by 1 person

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