Thursday, August 15, 2013

Remember When Writing Was Fun?

I might've written something like this before...

Anyway, I've hit this wall.  This wall of just not caring about my craft and it totally sucks.

Writing used to be my passion. I mean, I used to have so many ideas and just such energy that I filled notebooks up with scrawling. Seriously, everywhere I went, I spent 90% of the time writing. Restaurant: wrote on the back of paper napkins. Church: Wrote all over the bulletin. School: well...notebooks. I even wrote fanfiction.

But now...

Now it's like another job. I have contests I want to enter. Samples I'm preparing as samples for Agents. Articles that I write for I'm trying to build a web presence, a publishing history, and maybe even make a little money along the way (because isn't that part of why I got an MFA?).

So, in other words, now there's all this ....pressure. And it's all from me! I'm putting all this pressure on me and my craft. That it has to work out. That it has to be done. And just thinking about it all is exhausting. Then, I sit down to write and nothing comes out.

...Which freaks me out even more.

I know what it all comes from.

I'm not writing for me anymore. I'm writing for my career. It's become work, and it's less fun. Which is also scary and freaks me out. (I think this is why authors do writing retreats, but I can't afford a writing retreat so what's a girl to do? Push through it.)

This big question here is: HOW DO I MAKE IT FUN AGAIN?

The answer: *shrug* I don't know.

My plan for now is to just power through it. That's all I can do. It'll be fun again one day. I'm not going to give up on that day.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Agents: Why Do Writers Need Them?

As mentioned in my last post, I am looking for finding an agent so I can get my book published. But agents aren't editors. They don't work for publishing companies. Then, why do I need one?

Well, the short answer is that because they work for me.

Okay, that's a super short answer. An agent is the support staff for a writer. One thing that I've heard from countless lectures I've gone to with editor/agent speakers, is that the publishing business would crumble without the writer. Therefore, everything is pretty much built upon what the writer produces. Publishers want you to produce something awesome that will sell. Editors, and mostly agents, are the ones that help the author do this.

This is the breakdown of what an agent does as far as I know:

  • They support the writer
  • Help the writer manage their career
  • Manage the rights to the books
  • Be the writer's advocate
  • Act as a bridge between you and the editor 
The agents are going to be the star quarterback for team Writer. A legit agent doesn't get paid until you, the writer, does. They take a small percentage, but for what they do it seems worth it. They're the ones who help you with revision. They're the ones with the connections in the publishing world. They make sure they you get the most you can for your work.

Finding the right agent is like dating. You want to make sure that you click with one another. So, when you're looking for an agent, make sure you do your research. This is some great advice that one of my professors passed on to me this summer. Literary Rambles is a great resource. They've got links to various agents and have collections of interviews and articles with the agent listed online.

Lastly, two things to keep in mind.

  1. Most publishing houses won't look at manuscripts if a writer doesn't have an agent
  2. Even with an agent, there is a chance that your book won't be picked up for publication
So that's what I got. Agents = good. As writers we need them, and they need us. When I finally get an agent, cookies will be sent.

In a little while, I'll post about the querying process (the process of trying to get an agent to take you on), so until then, have a good one!