Monday, June 2, 2008

So, do you help with career building?

We hear this all the time coming from agents. We see this on their blogs and websites and we hear them say this at conferences. But what does this mean?

Unfortunately, I think many writers really get the wrong message when they hear that an agent does career building.

Career building is guidance of your writing career. Career building is not making your plans and setting your goals. I am afraid this is still something you have to do.

Too often, I see writers discuss their careers as writers. For many, these are not goals with plans, but dreams. This is wishful thinking. Our job as an agent is to work with you to take a more realistic look at where you want to go with your writing and the best place you can be.

There is an issue with this though. Many writers interpret this is an agent "telling them what to do" and "not really working with where they want to go with their writing." Sorry to break this to you, this is career building.

So, what is expected of you as a writer? You need to have a realistic goal as a writer and a plan to get there. You also have to have the drive and the motivation to put things aside that will get in your way of achieving that goal.

Think Yoda from Star Wars. There is no try, only do. This is the attitude you need to have.

But Scott, what about the role of the agent? I thought you said they do career building. Yes, we do. We'll discuss with you where you want to go with your writing, make suggestions, shape your writing to best fit the direction you want to go, and more importantly, steer you away from a direction that will not work.

The key to making all of this work though, is trust. When you sign with an agent, you need to be able to listen to them and trust their decisions.

No comments:

Post a Comment