And here we are at the finish line. 100 days. The gestation period of a domestic pig. More than a year on Mercury. (Nearly) 100 pitches. (Nearly) 100 tears. It certainly has been an interesting ride. If one was to attempt to capture the emotional rollercoaster schematically, it might look a little something like this:
What have I learnt? Well firstly that freelance pitching is best approached as a stand-alone profession, rather than squished in between a hectic office job, freelance consulting gigs and an untenable social life. And I’ve learnt to greatly respect those who commit to this as a full time profession. That is, the kind of respect you reserve for the clinically insane.
I’ve also learnt, courtesy of this nifty little online tool, that my writing style of this blog is like that of H.P Lovecraft. Despite the romantic semantics of the name, he is, apparently, the master of bloodcurdling horror and the macabre. Which is probably a reasonably apt summation of the last 3 1/3 months.
I don’t quite have the bursting portfolio I envisaged at the start of this process. But what’s given me the most satisfaction are some of the unexpected wins – offers of contacts, encouragement from editors, writers and friends and interviews and pieces on things I never thought I’d get to research. Like dramatherapy and shitting civets.Unexpectedly, the part I loved most was writing this blog – unrestricted streams of consciousness in my own voice, and the joy of getting another comment or subscriber (even strangers) or a whole lot of hits. This was just designed for a few mates to follow my progress but somehow it’s received 5000 hits in 3 months, and now when an editor asks to see a sample of my work I can point them in this direction.
Pitchfever was a knackering, constant and exposed experiment, but I know I wouldn’t have got round to a single pitch unless I was being held accountable by you all. And the process has changed my outlook – instead of waiting for an idea to be to be crafted perfectly, I’ll just get it out there. Hatching ideas, whether inspired or rubbish, has become a daily habit, like teeth brushing or pinot noir. I’m noticing stories in everything, and ultimately, am looking at the world in a different way. And I, for one, quite like the vista.
I’ve shifted my stance on writing as a fulltime career now I think, but I like the idea of dabbling in it, and juggling journalism with other work. I’ve bought myself a little ideas book. I’ve paid my annual AWM subscription. In a week I move to a place with a real study, a definite upgrade from the coffee table. So, dear subscribers, if you don’t quite mind (and didn’t only sign up because there was a clear exit strategy come October) I might just keep updating the pitchfever blog. Feel free to opt out, but I promise to only regale you every now and then, with tidbits and snippets from the pitching and writing world. Thanks for coming on the journey and for all the banter, comments and love. Cliche or not, I couldn’t have done it with out you.
The boy must be relieved this is over – on day 100 he proposed. He’s definitely now moved up a notch ahead of the MacBook on the ‘Possessions I Love’ list.