I asked my husband the other day, “Let’s say an agent offered me representation…and only that one agent did…and after talking with that agent and a few of her (or his) clients and just relying on my gut…I decided not to go with him (or her). Would you think I was crazy?”
My husband looked up from what he was doing for exactly one-point-five seconds, exclaimed, “Yes!” and looked back down.
But I really don’t think I would be. Allow me to explain. I am a writer, have been for pretty much my whole life, and after working at this for years and years and years, I think I’m not so bad. Now I don’t think I’ll be a Nobel laureate anytime soon, or a NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author--heck, I might not even publish a book in the next year, the next decade, or the next lifetime--but I do think I can write. There, I said it, and I’ll say it again, with an exclamation point this time: I think I can write!
And because I respect my talent--and myself--enough, I really don’t want to settle. I want to find an agent who absolutely adores my work, and I want that agent to be someone whose, er, agenting I absolutely adore. I want that agent to be someone I can spend my whole career with, someone who understands me and my goals. I want to feel confident in that agent when the market’s down, when I have writer’s block, when I don’t think I can take another round of revisions. In short, I want a business partner/drill sergeant/pep talker. And if she (or he) has a lovely singing voice, that would be nice, too:)
Now I realize my opinion may change two, three, maybe seven manuscripts down the road. And there’s no guarantee that I’ll ever get that first offer, either. But for now, I’m holding out for an agent, and he’s (or she’s) gotta be strong, and she’s (or he’s) gotta be fast, and he’s (or she’s) gotta be fit for a fight--’cause this industry’s a killer.