Many of you are wondering what happens after you ride the carousel and catch that elusive gold ring: an agent. At first, it feels like the heavens have parted and the angels are singing the most beautiful songs ever written only for you. A few days later, you're still dreaming about the angels and their harps, and about a week later, reality starts to sink in...
"I've got an agent, now I need to get back to work!"
The glamour wears off fast, but the gratefulness remains. For me, the time after finding my agent has been all about revisions; a continuous journey of learning and growing as a writer.
There are two points I want to make in this post:
1) Getting an agent is not the end, but rather a very important beginning.
2) There is no "right" way to find an agent. Trust your instincts, follow your own path.
Awesome Agent ("AA" aka Bernadette Baker-Baughman of Bakers Mark Literary) and I started working together in the middle of November after I finished the first draft of my YA novel. This is not "normally" the way things go, but it's important to remember there's really no "normally" in an agent search. However, one thing is fairly standard: you need to have your manuscript polished to within an inch of its life before you start querying.
My road was unique in that I'd been in communication with AA regarding a murder mystery I'd written when the YA idea came to me. She loved my new idea, and asked to read when I had my first draft completed. You can read about my journey here, but my point is, you need to trust your instincts, make the most of every opportunity, and have confidence in yourself and your writing.
Do any of you feel defeated or depressed or unsure or even hopeful? Whatever stage of the "trying to get an agent" process you're at, know this: you will find your way! Keep writing and treat the rejections for what they are:
a) a sign you're in the game;
b) proof that certain agents are not a good fit for you;
c) evidence that you and your future agent have not yet connected.
It's easy to get down in the dumps every time you get a rejection, but please know that's part of the process. It's like being on Match.com - you have to weed through the ones who aren't for you until you find your perfect match. The right agent will "get" your writing, love you for it, and want to do everything in their power to set your writing career in motion.
Oops, I lied, I have three points in this post:
3) DON'T GIVE UP!
I'd love to hear where you're at on your journey. Feel free to whine, scream, cry, boast, etc in the Comment Section.