I noticed something trending on Twitter the other day that made my stomach turn: Pitch Wars. "UGH" was my immediate response.
Honestly, writing-wise, doing Pitch Wars was the biggest mistake I ever made. There's a part of me that wants to rant and scream and tell everyone I possibly can not to do it. But I think the odds of someone else having my exact experience are actually very slim: first, having a controversial story, then having an a-hole mentor send unnecessarily cruel feedback on just your first chapter, and also being the kind of person who is prone to depression and anxiety and will let this sort of thing eat away at you. On the other hand, seeing as how there's roughly a 10% chance of getting picked if you enter, I also feel like it's just a giant waste of time. So in the best case scenario, you're still going to be disappointed.
I wish I didn't let things get to me so much. It's not the first time I've been bullied. It definitely won't be the last time my writing will be critiqued (although I feel if my book was already published I would handle it in a completely different way). But at what point do you stop grinding your teeth when you hear something mentioned? When does that bitterness go away? When I think of something that happened in the past that still leaves me feeling bitter, the thought usually passes fairly quickly. You get over it eventually. Maybe just because Pitch Wars wasn't so long ago, it's still bugging me.
Or maybe it's just because it's kept me from writing. I hate the fact that it's almost been a year since I've really written anything. I've come up with a ton of ideas on how to edit my book, but I haven't actually done any of them. I hate when people tell me it's ok to take a break, because it's just been way too long. But every time I think about working on my book, I just wonder--what's the point? If everyone's going to hate this story and hate me for writing it, why should I bother? But I can't let it go because I've put so much effort into it and I think there's something there that people just aren't able to see yet.
So I guess I just need to try to make people see it. Nothing is ever going to happen if I don't start writing again. That's probably what I need to do to get over the experience. Nothing would be a bigger "f you" than being successful. If I don't write, then they win.