Monday, March 21, 2016

Trouble in Paradise

It's been a while since I've posted on the blog.

Most probably assume that I've been busy. I have been. I'm not going to lie. I'm a stay at home mom with three kids, a dog that doubles as a pony and I deliver early morning paper routes. I'm also the go-to babysitter for all of my friends. I've started a book club in my area, I'm trying to plan a girls night dinner for my friends and I volunteer regularly at my kids school.

It's not why I haven't posted.

The last time my turn came up, I didn't know what to write.

No. Let's be honest. I was afraid to write. Afraid to the point it slipped away.

I want to be honest with you on where I'm at. The last two years have been hard. I signed with an agent. I started editing. I did more editing. I found a second manuscript with a small press that I'd forgotten about and informed my agent. We started editing the second ms, pushing the first aside. I continued to edit. I've been editing for the last two years. It's been a never-ending circle of re-reading the same two manuscripts over and over. To the point of frustration. To the point I don't want to write anymore.

The feedback is always the same. This isn't right, it isn't getting better. Read this. It will help.

Your relationship with your agent should be a working partnership. A give and take where you both discuss and understand your goals, and where you want to be. It should be somewhat of a friendship. You should feel like you're able to talk to your agent. Shoot them an email with concerns, let them know when you disagree with a decision that both of you are making about your work. If your agent isn't allowing you to talk to them, or listening to you when you do talk, it's time to re-evaluate the relationship.

Deciding whether or not an agent is right for you is hard. It feels like that agent may be your only chance. So you don't speak up. You don't voice your opinion. You don't want to offend your agent. While you're watching your career spiral into nowhere, you're losing your voice because you're afraid to use it in the first place.

Don't be.

Stand up for yourself. It's easy to get in a circle that goes nowhere. Because this is your only chance. Only, it's not. There are plenty of agents out there. There is one that will treat you with respect and listen to your opinions, wants and needs. They won't hold onto you out of pity. They'll guide you through every decision and push you to be the best. They'll become a friend as much as they are your agent, because guess what? Their career rides just as much on you as yours does on them.

Don't get sucked into the void. Don't be sucked in by the right words. It's hard. Some agents are smooth talkers. They know what needs to be said to get the deal. Sometimes those words don't amount to anything but empty words. Sometimes an agent seems right from the get-go, but you just don't mesh. You have nothing in common. It happens. Don't be afraid to voice how you feel.

It's difficult. I know. If you're anything like me, you feel guilty. Guilty for the work put in, guilty because you feel the way you do, worried you'll offend, but it's your career. It's your work. And if the person promising to help you to the best of their ability isn't, you need to step back. Take a hard, long look at where you are and what you want. They'll understand. Talk to them. Resolve the issue before it gets so out of hand you don't want to follow your dreams anymore.

Becasuse there is someone out there who wants you just the way you are.

4 comments:

  1. Great post!!! This is applicable to ALL types of relationships...agents, coworkers, bosses, friends....Wise words from lessons learned. 👍

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    1. I didn't think about that, but you're right. It works in all aspects of life. Relationships, of any kind, go both ways.

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  2. Fantastic post and a lot of hard hitting truths not a lot of people see behind the scenes or understand.

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    1. Thanks Janet. I hope it helps give someone a voice.

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