People In Glass Houses…
So, I wrote what I thought was this inspirational post all about how you should follow your dreams, or at least follow up with an agent after they request pages at a conference.
And I used a real world experience from this past weekend, where the lovely Jessie had dinner with me, charmed me, but then had a mini crisis of confidence where she worried that she had offended me, and canceled her pitch appointment.
So I’ll get to the part about how I really do get it even though I try to explain how not scary I am (and even though I try not to be scary). But first, I have something to say to several of those who left comments on that first blog post.
When I came up with that less than 50% of people I request material from, actually send it statistic, who do you think I was talking about?
Because I was talking about YOU.
Right, I know.
YOU were sitting there at your computer, looking around saying ME?? I would NEVER not send in my material after an agent requested it. Or maybe you were thinking, what kind of idiot backs out of a pitch session, especially after spending dinner with an agent??? Or maybe you said wow, I wish I had been there to take that canceled appointment; I wouldn’t have wasted such an incredible opportunity.
Well I’m here to tell you that’s bullshit. So get off your smug, self-righteous high horse and show a little compassion.
Where do you think all these scared writers are coming from?
They’re the writers who are working late into the night trying to write a manuscript while juggling a family and job; they’re the writers on Twitter and in the blogosphere.
They’re the writers who show up at every conference I attend and fully half of them fail to follow up on my requests because they’re too scared to let me see their work.
How dare you judge one of your own.
My story was meant to help you get over your ridiculous fear of agents and go after what you want. I was poking a little fun at Jessie–who I gently teased in person Saturday for skipping the pitch and told her I expect to see her sample in my inbox–in the hopes that other writers will see that the worst that will happen is an agent will turn down your manuscript.
But I’m sorry (and horrified) to see that so many of you were so quick to sell out Jessie and assure me that you would never show a little fear in the same situation. Of course not.
If that were true, then I would get 90% of the manuscripts I request at conferences.
But I don’t. I never have. And neither has any other agent I’ve ever discussed this with.
I get it. I really do. I understand that meeting me (or any agent) feels like a BIG opportunity. I know it feels like you’ve only got one chance.
But you know what? It’s just not true.
There’s always another agent and another manuscript. It’s just about how much you want it.
Well, maybe Jessie will thank you for giving me a reason to send her a horrified apology for a post gone wrong.
As for me, I still hope you all go after your dreams, send manuscripts when requested etc. etc. But I guess I hope to see a little more support for each other when you do get intimidated, and encouragement in the hope that maybe next time will be your time.
Because, you know, you gotta be in it to win it.