Daily Archives: April 22, 2010

The link that almost ended it all.

I was putzing on my computer yesterday, following links to various places on various topics, when I came across a quote that made me want to curl up in the bottom of a tequila bottle with the worm.

And, no, I don’t mean that metaphorically.  If I had even a smidgen of an alcoholic tendency within me, I would be too margarita-drunk right now to type straight. 

You may think I’m over-exaggerating (really, though, isn’t exaggerating bad enough?), but I’m not.  After reading what the agent thought was well wishes to aspiring writers, I was  ready to twist up my WIPs and light them on fire.  Followed by my laptop, pencils, notebooks and all my How-To books on writing.  Done.  Finished.  The End.

Are you ready for the magical sentence of doom?

If you are a terrific writer with solid credentials, finding an agent will be straight-forward and fairly easy.

Right. 

Define terrific.  What exactly constitutes “solid” credentials?  Straight-forward?  Easy? 

The only word in the whole sentence that made sense was fairly.  As in so-so.  Not horrible, but not great.  Better than average, maybe. 

Not too long ago, a writer friend of mine said enough.  It’s too hard.  I’m not good enough.  I’m done wasting my time. 

These are words that most aspiring writers I know have said at one time or another.  Some actually pack up their writing utensils and pick up another hobby.  Others take long breaks–decades even–before scratching out a few more words in hopes of one day finding their by line on a book jacket.  And some really do give in and give up on their dreams.

How long is too long to peddle a crappy manuscript?  How soon is too soon to quit in this fairly easy process?  Oh great cosmic agent of writerly love, wherefor art thou answers? 

These questions and more were posed during an AQ chat last night. 

How about you, oh writer friends, have you ever given up?  For how long?  Have you watched your writing buddies throw in the towel and end it all?  How do you keep from letting a simple sentence crush your dreams?  When do you admit defeat on one manuscript and move on to the next?

And as an aside, fairly easy is how I describe painting my toe nails, not the agent-finding process.  With the industry odds stated somewhere around a 2% rep rate, a whole lotta people better start writing really badly to make it fairly easy for us folks who refuse to give up!

Have a great day!