I’ve sent out two queries so far this year. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but let me tell you, there is a lot of work that goes into each one. I’ve said this before… it can be very daunting submitting to an agent for a few reasons. First and foremost, sharing my work with anyone is daunting. Even now, four years into the self-publishing game, I still get a little sick to my stomach when my editor reads my work, and more so when I publish. To submit my work to an agent, a total stranger who I’m asking to take me on, is beyond nerve wracking!
It’s also daunting because each agency is different when it comes to their submission guidelines. I know I’ve touched on this before… it’s not like a huge job website where you upload a resume and start quick applying to every listing in the hopes to get an interview. Each one is specific in what they want. Some have a form that you fill out, some want an email with the first 25 or 50 pages attached as a document. And some want you to include everything in the body of the email. They make it very clear that if you miss one step of their guidelines, they won’t look at you. I get it, they want to make sure people are paying attention and researching the agents, but damn! I’ve had executive assistant jobs that required less attention to detail! I’m a writer, the details are in my stories!
As I was researching the agent I will submit to for the month of May, and of course, getting into my head about how superior these people are to me and that I’ll never be smart enough for them… I told myself to shut up. The agent photos are one extreme to the other. They either look like scholars who are going to look down on me, or they look young enough to be my child, and I’m intimidated by both! I had to remind myself that they’re people, too.
They put their pants on one leg at a time, they breathe the same air that I do. They do all the same things that anyone does, because they’re people! What a revelation! They get colds, they get hungry, they smile when something makes them happy, and cry when something makes them sad. They have ups and downs like we all do. They get breakouts, they have insecurities, they use the bathroom! Insert gasp here! How many times when we were growing up, did we think that teachers never went to the bathroom, and when we found out that they did in fact, use the bathroom just like us, we were floored? Agents, much like teachers, also use the bathroom! For the love of God, people, they poop!
What a silly thing to realize, right? Maybe, but it helped, and I know it will continue to help me through My Exquerience, to remember, that agents are people, too. Now I just have to get one to sign me on, find a huge publisher that has been wondering where I’ve been, and have my stories made into a movie or a series on Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney Plus… well, you get the idea. Until then, I will keep submitting and of course, keep sharing my journey with you!
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