Working On My “Elevator Pitch”

If you’re not a writer, you might think of an elevator pitch as a person’s thirty second attempt–while in an elevator–to sell something. Themselves, a product, a TV show. An exec (or an agent, to put this back into writer-speak) may say, “You have thirty seconds. Go.”

I have been honing my elevator pitch for just this type of moment. (Since I can’t drive, I can’t get to a ton of writer conferences, so I need to rely on queries and any sort of networking I can do.) Those of you who either know me in real life, or read this blog and so know me virtually, will probably also know that I am attempting, with all I have, to sell my book, my labor of love for the past ten years. Recently, said piece underwent a title change. It is now called “Two Lessons For Terrence McDonald.” I love and believe in it with all my heart.

If you’ll indulge me for just a moment, I will share with you my elevator pitch. Here goes.

“When a middle-aged man dies unexpectedly, he must discover the two major lessons in his life. If he fails, he will not be permitted into Heaven and will never see his family again.”

What do you think, reader? I am genuinely interested in your opinions.

There’s a lot more to this book, but if I were going to distill it down to its barest bones… there you have it!

On a slightly different note, as I sign off, today, May 3rd, marks fourteen years since the passing of my beloved grandfather, Papa Dick. To him I say, “You always encouraged me. you never told me I wasn’t good enough, and when you’d hear something like that from me, you called me out on it. I am hopeful that, somewhere up above, you’re watching, and that you’re working just as hard as I am to find my beloved book a home. I love you, Pop. Forever and always,

Your writer and your proud grandson.”

Derek

A New Project

As a writer, one of the things that can really get my heart pumping, my creative juices flowing, is the knowledge that I am at work on a new project. Something I really believe in that, if done well, could be a wonderful piece. Probably a short story, though it could stretch to novella-length.

Yet, I’m not going to lie. Lingering doubts remain. Can I see this thing through? Do I have the talent?

On days like this, I find myself relying on the words of those who came before me. My grandfather, or Papa, once turned to my brother and said, “You’re my actor.” He looked at me next and said, “You’re my writer.”

We smiled. We believed him, and we were determined to prove him right. I got right to it, inspired, and churned out a poem and a short story that very Easter; his last.

Whatever doubts I may feel trying to overwhelm me at times–and they’re much more prominent than I’d like to admit–I will keep going. I will have faith that my writing, my talent, my belief in myself, and my constant desire to get better will see me through.

I am his writer. I hear you, Pop. That phrase of his has more pull over me than any naysayer, any rejection note, be they written on literary agency stationary or pumped out through an automated e-mail program.