Friday, January 12, 2018

Agents Are Not Just Business Partners

Being an agent is a unique job. It is exciting, and certainly fulfilling when our clients get great contracts, great awards and great recognition. What a lot of writers do not understand, however, is that the job of an agent is not just about negotiating contracts. We are often the ones who are there for 100% emotional support.

As writers, you understand that the job is a lot harder than most think. It is stressful. You have deadlines and you have reviews. You have revision letters that are much more complicated than you thought the darn things would be. Add in the struggles of having to come up with story ideas, proposals, unique characters, settings that have never been done before, as well as that infamous writer's block and you now start to question why you wanted to do this at all.

There are a lot of times where it is my job, as an agent, to talk our writers "off the ledge." We talk through those struggles they are having. We have to get their heads back in the right place to insure that the creative genius comes back to the computer.

I know that I have several authors who I am always having to tell them things such as, "No, your editor doesn't hate you" or "You ARE a good writer and the story IS good." Agents now remove our hats and we become the cheerleader for the author.

I have other authors where it is my job just to hear out their personal problems. They need someone to vent to about what most would think are "silly things."
  • My kids are sick
  • The car just died
  • The dishwasher is exploding before my eyes
  • I think I just deleted all of my rough drafts
While these might be things you would believe an agent doesn't need to listen to, it is important to note, that we need to. Again, why? So that we can get that writer back to doing what he or she does best. Tell great stories.

For those of you without an agent, I cannot stress enough the need to find someone you can talk to and be that sounding board for you. It cannot just be about business.

I think this is one of the biggest reasons why I encourage so many writers to join those professional writing groups such as the Romance Writers of America. This is your support system. And, whether or not you believe it, you need those people to help you write!

Have a great weekend people.

No comments:

Post a Comment