So, who the heck is Amalie Jahn... for real?
Like everyone else's, my twitter bio consists of a mere 140 characters:
Award-winning #YA author. #TED speaker. #HuffPost contributor. #Ironman. Cancer survivor. Laundry folder. Berry eater. Skinny jeans opponent. Here to serve & <3
When Pitch War mentees were asked to pimp our bios here on our blogs, my gut reaction was just to expand on those 140 characters. I mean, they do a super job of reflecting the accomplishments of Public Amalie Jahn, the person who's on display for the whole world to see. The bio's perfect.
Maybe a little too perfect.
The truth is those 140 characters represent the shiniest 8x10 Glamour Shots version of myself. Elegant lighting, mild retouching, and the Mayfair filter. In real life, I am about as far from perfect as one person can get. So maybe that's what I should be explaining here instead.
Who is Amalie Jahn? The Unfiltered Private Amalie Jahn?
Okay. That might be going a little too far. But you get the idea.
Much like my manuscripts, I see myself as a work in progress. I remember when I was younger I assumed becoming an adult meant having All The Answers. When I reached some magical age of maturity I would have it All Figured Out.
I could not have been more wrong.
When I started my publication journey five years ago, I didn't know what I didn't know, but somehow I thought I would be able to lone wolf myself onto the New York Times Bestseller list. That dogged perseverance would see me through.
And I quickly discovered that was never going to happen.
Being an author is a terribly isolating profession. You sit at a keyboard alone, talking only to the imaginary people inside your head. I should not have been surprised when the depression set in.
But I was.
I learned eventually that I needed other authors. And editors. And beta readers. At first, I thought I needed them to make my books better. What I discovered was that I also needed them to make ME better.
So, that's why I'm here doing Pitch Wars. Would I love to land a mentor and even an agent? Absolutely. But over the years I've learned success isn't measured by what you can cram into a 140 character bio. It's measured in growth. Growth of my craft. Growth of my community. If I come out of this with a more polished manuscript and a bunch of really great new friends, I'll be thrilled. Because if I'm ever going to make it in this industry, I won't be doing it on my own. I'll be doing it with a whole lotta help from all of you.
So what's left to tell you? I could probably write for another day, but perhaps in the interest of getting the laundry done I'll share just a few more bullet points.
This is were you get to read about what's going on inside my head. I apologize in advance - the place is a wreck.