What am I going to do with all this time once I can stop looking for an agent?
How many times have you or one of your friends said that? A kazillion? Yeah. Probably. Trust me, I know the feeling.
Think of all the writing I’ll get done! I’ll finally do some really great deep cleaning and catch up on housework! I’ll join a gym! I’ll SAVE THE WORLD! Yeah, that’s what I’ll do! I’ll Save! The! World!
So, you may have noticed, the world (in general) is still in peril.
One thing I noticed thru the entire process is the understanding of the Before Agent and Post Agent friends. I’d always fallen firmly in the BA w/slight sympathy…but, yeah, there’s a divide.
BA looks like this: What do you mean your stressed making this decision? You’re picking from amazing agents who want to represent your work! It’s great! There’s no stress here!
PA looks like this: Don’t worry. They will get back to you. Yeah, it’s a big decision. Just start the process as the emails come in. But, as long as you did your research, talked to people, spoke with each agent and feel confident in the ones you narrowed it down to, it will be hard to make a *wrong* choice. There’s *BEST* choice though, so make sure you do all the steps. It will be fine.
Then the decision happens:
BA: Now you’re a represented author. It’s all cake from here.
PA: Now you’re a represented author. It’s your gig to lose my friend. Nose to the grindstone. This is not the relationship to slack on. Do not forget, this is a business relationship so you have to focus. Yeah, you can be friends with people at work, but don’t forget this is your career.
Then the revisions happen:
BA: This is great, someone to tell you exactly what you need to do! You’re so in!
PA: Ok, so you’ve got general feedback, now you have to make it your own. How the heck are you going to do this? Yup, it’s time to read that manuscript start to end *again* Now get to work. PANIC PANIC PANIC…ok, stop panicking. The worst thing that happens on this first time out of the gate is failure to give her what she wants. FAILURE? I DON’T DO FAILURE? WHAT THE HECK IS THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN? Well, you’ll work this the way you work everything. Do it, check it, re-do it, have someone you trust look at it, re-do it and hand it in.
So, if you’re making these decisions and are really struggling with your friends not getting it, don’t worry. You aren’t alone. We didn’t get it when we were BA no matter how supportive we tried to be. It’s a path, and you can only see the path from where you are on it.
And, that’s as far on the PA path that I am. I can say, I’ve had a really stressful couple weeks (life-wise) since signing and it’s definitely effecting my work in a negative way. I”m pulling out all the stops trying to work around that stress because, like our PA said above, this is work. This is the career I want. And that means learning new ways to do old things…It means that in every job. It means that no matter what life is throwing at me (and it really feels like it’s throwing a lot now) you push forward. But mostly it means that I need to learn to keep my writing attitude up-beat and focused. And that is something that as a PA I have to do, because it’s no longer a Oh, I can do this someday. It’s a I should do this now.