Friday, May 7, 2010

Second Chances

As I slooowly begin the agent search (seriously, I'm a trepid turtle these days), I've been thinking a lot about second chances. We've all heard it. You only get a first impression with an agent. That query letter has to be perfect. That manuscript has to be flawless. If they are anything less, you've missed your one, golden chance.

I struggle with this. I am a writer and producer. My job is to, literally, make things happen. From start to finish, it is my job to make things faster, better, stronger. And along the way, if there's a problem, it is my job to fix it. What? You don't like this direction? This isn't working for you? No problem. I can fix it. I can make it work for you.

It doesn't seem that the publishing industry works this way. Thanks-but-no-thanks is an everyday occurrence. There is no time to sit and say, "Well, how can I make this work for you? I am willing. I am able." It's more like an irritated mother, yanking her child's arm. "No. Means. No." There are no second chances.

But, as I've said, I am a producer. I make things happen. It is always my job to say yes. An eternal optimist. An eternal problem solver. And I know that this 'no second chances' thing, it doesn't really work like that.

If an agent rejects your work, they are the ones who never get a second chance. You are the one with endless opportunity. To be faster, better, stronger.
And, yes, that's my tough make-it-happen face.


  1. Very true. I am hoping that someday, I'll have an agent and editor that I can say "how can I make this work? I am willing. Work with me." And they will.
    Great post! The agent's don't get that second chance, it's true!

  2. I think this is why it's good to make sure your work is the best it can possibly be before putting it out there. I've thought a lot about this as a Canadian where the agent pool seems to be quite small, and I can't say I'm that excited to get to the query stage. Thankfully I'm still months away.

    I like your viewpoint though. Very positive attitude.