Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG)
Insecure Writer's Support Group is a network of bloggers supporting one another through encouraging posts. The group posts the first Wednesday of every month, and is a place where writers can express doubts and concerns without fear. A safe haven for writers.
On the writing road with my literary agent:
I thought I'd talk this month about my experience so far working with a literary agent. It's been a little over a year that we've been working together. We mainly communicate by email which works fine by me. I aim to be a low-maintenance type client, though sometimes that's not possible.
See, I was kind of freaking out. Not about the story we'd finished but about the one that the word REVISION sent me crawling into a dark corner. Maybe I'm being dramatic (Hello, writer) but every time I started to think about revising this project it was either a.) scrap the whole thing, start over or b.) maybe this could be crafted as a YA historical magical realism southern gothic teen angst epic drama ... and I felt my sanity slipping.
So we set up a call. And while I've met my agent in person, for some reason I was really nervous to call her. Which is stupid. So I viewed this like any professional call I would make for my day job. Because really, I've surpassed the idea of hobby writing now that I've contracted with a literary agency. Writing may be my second job (that doesn't yet pay me), but it's still an area where professionalism matters, and if I had doubts or concerns about something with a client/customer at my day job, I would absolutely call.
Of course my agent was very professional, and beyond that, friendly, because she's awesome. We even ended up talking about Supernatural (we are both loyal Dean fans). But what she said that stuck with me was this: "I hear the concern in your voice. I want you to know I'm not concerned. I believe in your ability as a writer."
Wow. That meant so much. And, knowing we were on the same page really helped.
I have writer friends who've said the same thing. The same writers who have had to tell me, "This is all find and good, but where's the plot?" and "Don't kill me, but do you need this entire scene? It kind of doesn't go anywhere."
That stuff is painful to hear at the time, but so worth it. I'd like to think I'm working toward better writing in part because of the people who've told me those things and those who've discussed plot points and character development and trends and all the stuff we get stuck on.
What support have you received as a writer that helped you? Please share in the comments!