Friday, August 27, 2010

Career Planning Is Something Only You Can Do

I think there is this big misconception out there about the idea of career planning and the role agents play. Simply put, agents cannot plan your career. This is something you have to do.

Now, before you start freaking out here, let me clarify a few things. As an agent, we do assist you as you plan your career. We work with you as an advisor, making recommendations based on the goals you have set out for yourself. If you want to write women's fiction, we can recommend how you would shape your stories to better meet those goals.

I always like to think of an agent as being a shephard, guiding from behind and aiming you in a given direction.

I wanted to bring this up because I do believe a lot of writers think we will tell you what to do with your writing. Now, there may be agents out there that do that, but for the most part, what you want to do is up to you. If you have no idea where you want to go, then we simply can't help you.

There are many writers out there throwing darts at the board and trying to write in every genre out there. For you people, you need to create a focus. Pick one genre and stick to it.

As you think about your writing this weekend, think about your goals and where you think you want to be. Decide on a direction and then create a plan to get yourself there. For some of you, this might mean taking more time to get to where you want to be, but I promise you will be much happier.

Have a great weekend.



  1. Just resonates with what I just read, Before you climb a mountain, check if it's the right mountain to climb.

  2. Thanks for the post. I'd add that there's no one way to run a career. I've read a lot of very directive blog posts about what writers "should" do, and I tend to find them annoying.

    Writers all have different goals, and as you say, an agent can only help you get there if you know where "there" is.

    By the way, are you going to ECWC? I live in the area, and may see you there! Best, D

  3. Daisy,

    I will not be at Emerald City Writer's Conference. I was there in roughly 2004 and haven't been back. I know it is silly considering I am only 40 minutes south, but I haven't gotten an invite. My policy with conferences is that I only go when someone asks.

    I might swing up there though to meet with some people outside of the conference though.

    Oh well, maybe next year.