Just a short one today to say I spent part of the weekend sending out all my feedback to everyone who applied to me in Pitch Wars. I think I wrote around 600 to 800 words for each Pitch Wars participant, with a little more sent to the people whose additional chapters I sampled.
Many of them have replied to the feedback, and I'm amazed (though not surprised) that everyone's being so gracious about it.
It's hard to take feedback. Especially on the heels of disappointment if you didn't get into this particular contest. Even if the feedback comes with some praise, every piece of feedback that would seem pretty tame to most people will feel like a pick-axe on your heart sometimes--especially if you're not used to it, haven't had much critique, or thought you were really close only to hear that someone thinks you have a lot of work to do.
And yet everyone's being so nice about how I beat them up.
I would honestly expect people who are seeking agents to be professionals here. That's why I'm not surprised it's like this. And many of them have been very understanding about the fact that the Pitch Wars mentors are usually pretty busy people who have volunteered for the contest and should be prioritizing edits with their mentees. They've made it clear to me that they saw my feedback as above and beyond the call of duty, and they've expressed so much gratefulness and appreciation.
I don't need them to lick my butt or praise me for paddling their babies. But it's just so affirming to hear that I made the right choice in offering feedback to everyone. I don't do it for the praise or to get followers on Twitter. I do it because every time I see someone reaching this level of expertise, feeling they're ready to make that step into the professional world, I know that person must be serious. So I take them seriously. And I treat each one--for the minutes I can spare--like it's the only story in the world, knowing they'll probably put my words to good use in fertilizing their gardens.
If they weren't willing to do that, they probably wouldn't be willing to do research on publishing or enter contests like this anyway.
So this is my thank-you to everyone who's expressed thanks to me, and I hope you all continue your quests and reach the destinations you desire.