So I thought I would take a pass – poor joke, lame swipe – at Agents. Why? I’m gearing up to query…
I’ve reached a point where I have to admit I’m turning in circles. I talk about writing all the time, getting back to it, getting focused on it, but if I am honest all the talk about what I am doing is starting to feel like a way of avoiding facing up to what I am not doing.
The Story So Far..
It was around 4 years ago I started writing with an eye to publication, mid 2009. I blasted out a book, sent it off, got nowhere. I got some nice words, a few form rejections. Even a couple of ‘not in our field but if you have anything else’. I queried only small, often quite niche, presses and a handful of agents. The agents were universally uninterested. I didn’t even have to wait past the next post to receive their no’s.
Next step? I didn’t really know. I researched, joined writing groups, went to some conferences, kept writing. I learnt how poorly I had sold my own work – possibly why none of the agents were interested while the publishers had been – discovered the distinction between literary and commercial, the importance of word count. I learnt about who I am as a writer and what drives me.
In between all of this one sub came back from a BIG SIX… full request..
I don’t think I did this.. I should have. I wish I had. Instead I bit my nails and tried not to think about it. I told myself, not to get my hopes up, it will never happen..
It didn’t. They had an issue (did I focus on the ‘an’ part of that? No…) advised me to find an agent, sort out said issue and resub. I tried and earnt myself that odd, odd reply from an agent, the one who seemed to think all my characters were barnyard animals.
I’ve spent way too much time trying to figure out what that reply meant. I’m not going to start again here.
The Status Quo
That’s where I am. I haven’t queried since. I have kept writing. Five books finished. A half dozen others on the go. But this isn’t a hobby. I started this because I wanted to earn a living as a writer. I don’t have an issue with saying I want to make money at this. Not millions, but my living. I want to be a professional writer. Its why I have put the time in that I have. In some ways its easier than admitting the other reasons that drive me.
Why is it so difficult to say I want my words to be read? I feel guilty almost. And yes, afraid. But there is no point in pretending it would be anything but cowardly not to try.
I could self publish, and I am starting to see that there are good reasons to consider it. Greater control, greater profit, freedom from genre restrictions. However, I have none of the savvy I would consider necessary for either the technical bits or the marketing. I also don’t have the money to cover either proof reading or cover design.
And I guess I just feel I still need that yes from the gatekeepers. I’m not confident enough to go it alone. Certainly not yet. So, there really is nothing left to do..
Query. Pure and simple. But I need to decide which agents, which books. I’ll keep you posted. Just in case you find it interesting :p If anyone else is going through something similar I would love to hear about it. Especially if you are feeling a bit like this..