Agents

Keeping Grounded

As I move in publishing circles, I notice that those in and out of our profession tend to grant some of us larger-than-life personas.

Writers admire agents.

Agents admire publishers.

Publishers admire readers.

Readers admire writers.

With this circle of admiration, everyone should be happy, right? Maybe, but only in moderation.

In His wisdom, God didn’t allow me to become an agent until I was experienced enough to handle the esteem—and a few barbs, too. And before that, He didn’t allow me to become a published author until I literally thought my first book would be published posthumously—even though I was still in my twenties. I had worked so hard and what seemed like so long to see that first book in print that publication felt anticlimactic. I am so very, very grateful not only to the Lord, but to many wise editors who turned down my early efforts along the way, and then were patient with me as I continued to write for publication.

At conferences, more than one author has choked and shaken visibly before trying to find the words to pitch to me. This makes me want to cry because I know how unworthy I am. My eyes are misting as I type this. I’m so sorry—I am truly not trying to be maudlin or silly. But it’s true.

Okay, I’m back. If talking to me, querying me, or contacting me in any way makes you crazy nervous, please remember that I:

Always must have a good answer to the question, “What’s for dinner?”

Wash and iron clothes and otherwise try to keep the house running well.

Pack my husband’s lunches for work.

Check in with relatives to be sure they are well.

Work. As with any work, some is fun and glamorous. Some is tedious.

In other words, I do the same things you do. Except maybe you change the oil in the car and cut the grass. But basically, we are the same. Yeah, it’s fun to be called awesome and all those descriptors; but, please, look at me as a potential team member, wife, mother, daughter, and your sister in Christ. Otherwise, I have no desire to be a celebrity.

Your turn:

Who do you admire most in publishing? Why?

What keeps you grounded? How?

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