Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Life is not fair...

I bring up this comment because of late, I have heard a lot of writers griping and moaning about how unfair things are with other writers. Why does this person get someething that the other person doesn't get.

Here is the thing. Life is not fair. Life is what you make of it. Publishing, like anything else out there deals with networking. Who you know and how you make your connections work for you.

There have been many writers that have become successful, not because their writing is good, but simply because of who they knew and being in the right place at the right time. Are there writers out there that are much better in terms of understanding the craft? You bet! The problem is the connection.

So, with that said, what are you doing in your craft to build those connections? Are you attending conferences and talking to people? Or, are you hiding behind your computer and not getting out there in public? I have seen too many writers sit in conferences and never ask questions. At nationals, you should have your fanny out there at the Spotlight sessions asking questions and getting your face known.

Are you taking steps to get those agents and editors to your writing groups? Are you talking to them personally? I have personally offered to listen to pitches at nationals when I am standing in the hallway. Did you know that less than 10 people ever stopped me in Dallas? Hmmmmm?

What about your chapter and their meetings? Are you getting those people out to your meetings? If you are meeting at Nationals, ask them to come and talk. I have said I will be there if you ask. How about the others?

Make your own networking. Don't just think it will happen to you. Writing is a tough business and not just for passive wimps waiting for someone to do things for you.


  1. That's no joke -- it is all about being proactive in your work.

    A lot of the good fortune I've had in the writing world has come not from just blind submissions, but from who I knew, and who I talked to.

    I mean, what's the worse that can happen? Someone will say "no, not interested."

    I have to admit, even if I haven't managed to land an agent yet, I've made several connections from conventions. I've even been able to email these agents when I've had a question about something. The agents have always been quick to respond and honest with their answers.

    Something any writer can greatly appreciate.

  2. I know of a lot of people, who through these connections actually landed their first sale. The funny part is that many times, it was really the connection, not the quality of the writing.

  3. I think the connection is very important. Sure, I could sign with a greatly regarded agent in the future, but if the two of us didn't click on some kind of personal level, what kind of relationship would that be?

    Professionalism is important, don't get me wrong, however, I would think that knowing you actually like the person makes a huge difference too.

    I'm a hairdresser by trade, and though I know I could, in technical ability, handle any one of my coworkers clients. However, our personalities might not mesh.

    And who would want to get their hair cut by someone they didn't like? No matter how good the haircut was?

    I think the writer/agent relationship would be similar. I don't think I would want to be represented by someone who didn't like me or that I wasn't too crazy about.

    And how can you know that if you didn't meet them?

  4. You are so correct about the author agent relationship. Too often it seems that writers are so desperate to find an agent that they dive on the first person that shows any interest. That is a shame, because then they only have negative things to say.

    You are also correct about wanting to meet the potential agent. This is where those conferences come into play. Make sure to attend a conference where you get a chance to meet the person. Sure you have to travel, but it is well worth it.

    I have to say, on the reverse side, I want to talk to the person extensively before I go offering anyone a contract for representation. There have been a lot of writers that I have seen great things in their work, but after meeting with them (mostly at conferences) I am glad that we didn't proceed. It just would not have worked out.