Friday, February 25, 2011

A Special Kind of Crazy

I was recently talking to my mom about my friend, Kasie, who was considering two offers of representation from fantastic agents. Our conversation went like this:

Mom: So, how will she pick?

Me: She'll talk to them and see what she thinks, then make her decision.

Mom: Well, what are they offering?

Me: *pause* To represent her?

Mom: But is one offering a better deal? Like more money or better perks?

Me: No, this is just to represent her. They don't pay her for that. In fact, she pays them...but not until they sell her books.

Mom: How do they sell her books?

Me: They send them out on submissions to editors and see if any of them want to publish it.

Mom: *silence*

Me: Hello?

Mom: So, let me get this straight. Writers spend years struggling through, trying to perfect the craft, to keep learning and writing until finally, if they're lucky and work hard enough--they nab an agent... and then basically, they start querying all over again?

Me: *long pause* Um... I've got to go.

I think we have to be a special kind of crazy to pursue this career. Not everyone can understand the things we put ourselves through for our dreams. May I say I feel lucky to be surrounded by special people like you? :)


  1. Yeah, that's exactly what my mom said. She already knows I'm crazy though.

    Glad to know I'm in such good company. ;)

  2. It's taken a few years, but I now admit I am CRAZY. And proud of it! (Although it's my kids that have mostly driven me to it. The writing bit just added that special kind of crazy you're talking about:)

  3. Your mom hit the nail on the head. You seriously have to love this business to survive in it. Either that, or be really afraid of the voices in your head.

  4. I asked my CP the other day, tell me why I'm doing this again? But, really, an agent is SO much more than just a middle man to sell your book. Mine is AMAZING! She's totally worth her weight in gold. Congrats to your friend!

  5. My husband asked me the same exact questions when I got my offers. It was hard to answer, since you really do have to basically query all over again, even with an agent. I know it's going to be hard. I'll get more rejections, write more books, but I love writing and this is what I want to do, so I'll do it! :) Thanks for this post. I'm glad I know other writers who are in the same boat as I am. :)

  6. Amanda - You are SO right. I'm well aware of the benefits of an agent... but I tried to keep it basic for my mom, since she's not in the industry.

    It may or may not have backfired. ;)

  7. When you write it down - it does seem kind of crazy, but a good kind of crazy.

  8. Your mom is awesome! I couldn't have said it better myself. And you're right, it really does take a particular kind of crazy to pursue your dreams like we do. ;)

  9. Yeah, it seems we're all a bunch of crazy people! :P

    Your mom is smart! :D

  10. I had a similar conversation with my brother when I was trying to decide. He thought he'd be helpful by talking me through my choice (which was really nice) and said, 'okay, what are they both offering.' I just laughed and said, 'Themselves.' He didn't understand. We are crazy. But crazy is awesome. (and agents are worth their weight in gold. I feel very happy and lucky to have such a great one)

  11. Brilliant summation, Jenn. But I agree with Kasie. Crazy is good.


  12. Hi, Jenn! So glad you found me. Meeting new friends is just one of the things I love about writing conferences. I'm happy you were one. :)

    And yeah, don't we write to keep the dogs behind the fence, as Ann Lamott says? We do it because we HAVE to, not because it makes any sense. Because we'd need to be institutionalized if we didn't have that therapy. Maybe we should be locked up anyway....Hmmm...

  13. Oh, it's a special kind of crazy all right. We are however, among a fine breed of eccentric company to share the crazy with. (Hugs)Indigo