Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Less hopeless, thank you

I feel better after writing yesterday's post. It wasn't journalism, it wasn't a post about how to get published/get an agent. It wasn't an objective post at all - it was just about how I was feeling. Several people in the comments thanked me for my honesty and really it was the first time I'd written a really honest blog post for a long time. It has become harder and harder to do that since people are actually reading my blog! (I'm very grateful, don't get me wrong, just a little shy.)

I try to stay upbeat here, but it's hard to be relentlessly positive when that's not what's actually going on. I think perhaps part of the "silence" of the blog title was my own silence about this and now that I've vented, got it out, I feel better. I did worry a bit that I was shooting myself in the foot, if any agents ever read the post that would be it for me. But sometimes you've just got to get it out.

And something certainly did get "out"! Yesterday, a few hours after the post went up and apparently completely unconnected to it, I heard from the assistant of the first agent I wrote to, 8 weeks ago, apologizing for the delay! I think she may have been overwhelmed by the gratitude of my response! So, what can we learn from this? That this agent, at least, is not in the "no response means no" business, and for this I am thankful.No guarantees, but the assistant liked my writing enough to pass them on to the agent.

Okay, that takes us back to some positive news. Here, on this very blog, tomorrow, I am hosting the almost-final leg in Jonathan Pinnock's mammoth "Mrs Darcy versus the Aliens" blog tour! Intrigued? Pop back tomorrow. And huge congratulations to my writer friend M on her book deal (more about that when I am allowed)! Good news all round!


Rebecca Emin said...

I'm so glad you're feeling a bit better now, and also pleased to hear one of the agencies got back to you. That's a great start!

Rachel Fenton said...

I didn't publish a comment on my blog today and it's the first time (aside from advertising spam) that I've ever done that. It felt ugly. I justified that the comment was mean and that the alternative was to publish the comment and confront the author - email felt too personal/invasive - but that would have made me a bully, too.

There's a lot of meanness in the "business", I've discovered. A lot of bullying, frankly. If toughening up means being deliberately beastly to other people then I won't do it. I'd rather hurt and keep my humanity. But it is sad to read about agents behaving so impersonally to the people who have taken a huge leap to send their work in - a bravery - and it can only result in more mean writers - more hardened and toughened - and none of this leads to anything worthwhile for the world.

We write stories to pass on histories and to share and better understand humanity, at least I do, but the ending of the proposed silent treatment looks dodgy however you read it.

My personal gripe was always the "we love it but we just don't love it enough"...we are writers, blumming 'eck, we know that sentence is insincere at best and meaningless....I guess they finally got that and shut up?!

Best of luck in finding your agent, T, sincerely.

Apologies for the disjointed comment.