Monday, February 23, 2015

Leslie Knope Explains What It's Like to Submit Your Manuscript to Agents

So you've decided to ruin your life by being a writer.  You work for months--writing, editing, inhaling salty snacks, crying in your bathtub.  Normal writer stuff.

And then you lose your mind and want to submit that manuscript to agents, a fabulous torture of waiting and self-immolation that feels suspiciously like hemorrhoids.

You submit your hard work for the miniscule chance that the Great Sky Hand might point to your manuscript while angels sing "I Believe I Can Fly" and BOOM! you have an agent. 

More often the experience is like hitting yourself in the face with a hammer while fifty professionals politely tell you you're doing it wrong.

Why the ever-loving %^$#@ do we do this to ourselves?

We do it because in even the attempt, we've won.

I truly believe any time a person pursues their dreams, it's a great personal win.  We can work hard, but we can't always control the outcome of our artistic or professional pursuits.  It takes a village to publish a book, and a lot of "yes"es have to happen along the way.  Personally, I had a literary agent at one time who put a humor book on submission.  Even getting the agent in the first place was a damn fabulous accomplishment!  But, even though we were told the book was funny, it didn't sell, and the agent wasn't interested in working with me further.  Womp womp.  Sucks, right?  It sucked great giant donkey balls.

No matter the outcome, I felt immensely proud of myself.  How many people don't work up the courage to pursue their dreams?  Or are sidelined by terrible circumstances?  Awful things have happened to me that have shoved aside my ability to write.  However, I've gotten back on that horse and, come what may, nobody can take that away from me.

Even if you never get that agent, that book deal, that pile of money to roll naked have a book that you wrote with your blood, sweat, and barf.  You will have that forever!  And I'm so freaking proud of you!

Try to remember that as you are rejected by agents.  Because you will be, even if you go on to snag one.  I'm about to sub my superheroine book and yuuuuuup, I'm going to get that form rejection many times.

If all else fails, you can do what Leslie did.

The moral of the story is...keep writing.  And eat feminist barbeque.


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