I write in a hole. I admit it. I’m a social person, but when it comes to writing I’ve always kept to myself. Tapping out a chapter in the dark on my iPhone, holed up in the office with just a desk lamp on. I kept my writing and querying wins and losses mostly to myself. I didn’t realize until #PitchWars began just how much I’d been missing. Although I didn’t find a fit with a Mentor this year, here are the reasons why I’ve been smiling even so since December 11:

1. I am no longer in a writing bubble. I’m often a little late to the party. If I’d known years ago what an amazingly supportive writing community exists on Twitter (with both unpublished and published authors), I would have been chirping like a crazed bluebird on Twitter by now. I’ve had such fun interacting with aspiring and published authors alike. They’re witty, fun, excellent observers, and they pack so much like into 140 characters. I am making writing friends now that I hope to know and keep up with for a very, very long time.

2. I realize now the importance of keeping a blog. I’ve always kept a secret blog chronicling the curious actions and milestones of my twin toddlers, but never before about writing. Now I realize that the writers out there are excellent at detailing their writing lives and careers, and they share so many of my feelings. And maybe I even have thoughts to contribute from time to time, too. After creating my Mentee #PitchWars bio, I’ve had great fun customizing the blog and finally representing myself in a visual way. And realizing it’s pretty darn hard to nail down a WordPress theme that defines you as a person.

3. Twitter is just frikin’ AWESOME. The links to blogs, contests, cover reveals, agent wish lists, writing tips. I wish I was a vampire so I could easily stay up every night and scroll through everything I’ve missed since Twitter began to exist. Plus, I am super-thankful to the writers and interns who give their time to create opportunities like this. So many thanks to Brenda Drake and Rae Chang for making this all possible.

Would I have liked to have been Mentored in PitchWars? Of course! That’s why I entered. But that would have just been icing on the cake. The real win here is my new friends and followers and a real-time connection with the nucleus of the fiction-writing web.

Speaking of cake, check out my recipe for Writers’ Cake. Guaranteed to entice a writing sprint of 2,000 words or more (especially on a snowy Saturday morning).