Friday, January 22, 2016
COMING BACK TO THE AUTHOR by Eden Unger Bowditch
Recently, we at Project Mayhem have been talking a lot about literary agents. These conversations contain vital pieces of advice for many would-be, pre-published, and already-published authors. I know because I am one of them!
This is a true story. Years ago, a friend and I both decided we wanted to write books. We both had burning ideas that excited us to no end. I started writing. She decided to put her time into finding an agent. In a month, she wrote a proposal and I was well on my way with a draft. A few months later, she had an agent on board (she was a well-known journalist so she interviewed many) and I had finished a first draft. Her agent spent months shopping her proposal. I began my own rewrites. And then, an award-winning children’s writer friend took a peek at my manuscript and asked if he could show it to his publisher. The publisher asked for a meeting. I flew back to the US and signed a deal. Meanwhile, my friend never was offered a publishing deal. She had taken time off work to find the agent and work on the book proposal so she shelved the book and returned to journalism.
What is the moral of this story? Well…we can consider that, had I been clever enough to remember one should have an agent, I might have gotten a better deal (though that would be hard for me to imagine, but that’s just me!). We can consider that my friend should have stuck with it and eventually gotten the deal she wanted. Or we can say…wait! The point is, there is a book that needs to be written. Whether you have an agent or not, focus on writing it! The passion you feel for it is what will drive you. Do not stop and wait and hope for an agent. Keep working on your stuff since there is always room in the world for brilliant works of literature. An agent will help you realize some of those dreams but the dreams start with you.
So what is the moral? I guess it’s…WRITE!
If you have an idea, Hurray! But don’t wait! If you have an agent, hurray! If you’ve already written a book, hurray! But never forget, the book is the magic around which all else revolves.