Tagged: querying

Writerly Confessions: Love and Agents

I have a confession to make:

I’m addicted to following stalking spying on agents on Twitter.

Let’s just call it what it is. I’m not really stalking any of them, as I no long have any intentions of submitting queries to them. After all, I do have a rather fabulous agent of my own, and I wouldn’t trade her for all the tea in China.

But still I enjoy reading their advice on what to do (and especially what not to do) when sending out query letters, and the agents I follow (a) all seem to know each other (which only shows how very small the world of publishing is), (b) share some pretty hilarious banter, and (c) seem like really amazing people. Plus, they are so much better read than I am, which is so awesome considering that I caused a coworker to look up the word “aplomb” in the dictionary the other day (that gives you insight into who I surround myself with on a daily basis).

So what is it about these agents that makes me so interested in what they do?

Aside from just general interest in the whole process, I’m still trying to figure that out.

Let me take a moment to make a quick PSA to every writer out there who might be reading my blog: Whether or not you are in the querying trenches, you should be on Twitter and following agents who rep your style of writing, editors who publish your style of writing, and fellow writers of all genres. You will learn a lot about what not to do, you’ll see contest announcements, and you’ll begin to develop an appreciation for what it is that agents do and the process in getting a book from manuscript to print. I, for one, am incredibly humbled and view my books in a whole new light.

Anyway, my agent tweeted something earlier this week that made me smile:

When I signed with Julia, my Twittersphere exploded with congratulatory messages from both agented and non-agented writers. I got messages from other agents, from editors, from about a hundred people I’d never met before. The number of people following my Twitterfeed tripled overnight and doubled again over the weekend. (In fairness, it was a very small number to begin with.) And everyone I encountered was so amazingly happy for me.

It was a glimpse into a part of the writing world that I never knew existed, but I am so thankful that it does.

So on to what prompted tonight’s post.

I checked my Twitterfeed while I was at The Boy’s school waiting for him to use the restroom before I drove us home. Every now and then, Sara Megibow will do something she calls #5pagesin5tweets. I enjoy this feature a lot, and not just because it gives great insight into what she thinks while she’s considering a submission. It’s because – and this is going to sound crazy – I’m rooting for the manuscript.

There. I said it.

I once read somewhere that agents open every querying email with hope. They aren’t looking to hate your work. They want to love it. They understand how much you’ve poured into the story you’re sending them. They know how much trepidation you feel just piecing together that query letter. They know how nervous you are before you send it and how anxious you are as you wait for a response. And they don’t want to reject your manuscript. So when Sara does her #5pagesin5tweets, I get kind of giddy and hopeful that she’ll find something she loves. And when I see tweets from other agents talking about manuscripts that they fell in love with, I’m so happy for them.

I realized it’s a lot like being madly in love: When you’re in love, you want the rest of the world to find love, too. When you’re glowing from pregnancy, you want all your girlfriends to be pregnant, too. When you’re raising a precious child and basking in all his accomplishment, you want the same for your friends, too.

It’s not that different. When you’ve successfully signed with an agent, you want every other writer to be signed to. And I have a feeling that once I sell my book and see it on the shelves, I’m going to want everyone else to hurry up and get their books onto shelves, too.

It’s a crazy euphoria that you get to feel all over again every time you see someone retweet the I-Have-An-Agent announcement or read the How-I-Got-The-Call blog post.

And it never gets old.