Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Dancing With Words

"When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It's to enjoy each step along the way."  ~ Wayne Dyer ~

I've been to several conferences lately. Most had agents. Most had agent panels as well as pitch sessions. The writers were scared to death.

I've sat in on panels of agents. They often deliver a depressing message. In one particular session I attended, they couldn't say one positive comment without a massive disclaimer about the huge odds against a writer, the uphill battle, the uncertainty of traditional publishing. They vacilated between sounding clichish and appearing fearful for their own profession. Writers left the room almost feeling that self-publishing was better for all parties concerned.

Face after face exited the room afterwards, no smiles intact. Some were asked for more chapters or the next thirty pages at the pitch sessions, but one author's comment represented most..."I know how this works. I don't have high expectations she'll take it."

You aren't writing because of the odds.

You aren't writing because of how an agent makes you feel.

You are writing because you like dancing with words. You love moving around the dance floor, pushing and pulling, dipping, toe-tapping and skipping along with words. Enjoy the embrace. Because that's the feeling you should keep when the music stops.

4 comments:

Sioux said...

You are certainly right---we write because we enjoy tinkering with words. We love when we can conjure up a well-crafted phrase. We have fun beginning with something rough and ending up with a polished piece. IF we get manage to get published, it's icing on the cake...

BECKY said...

Hope, you are right on, as always! That's exactly how many of us felt after listening to the agents. It was almost as if, "Why bother? The odds are stacked against us." But, then our egos might take over, and we just KNOW we will definitely fall into that 1% that gets published! And then off to do more writing...because we do love it, and we do want to be published.

Sally said...

I agree whole-heartedly with the sentiment and salve my feelings with those thoughts when experiences such as you mentioned occur. . . but a kind word is never wrong.

widdershins said...

I've often thought that we, as authors, approach this whole 'big scary publisher/agent' thing the wrong way.

We go in a supplicants humbly asking to be considered for a very small portion of a very large pie ... think Oliver Twist saying, "Please Sir, I want some more."

What if we went in with the idea that we were inviting the publisher/agent to join us in a business venture? We have a great product, which, lets face it, they need in order to survive, (this is predicated on the fact that your MS is the very best it can be)and they have the nuts-n-bolts to get it to our audience. (another qualifier; this is separate from the nuts-n-bolts we bring to the table ourselves) It's a win/win situation.

I'm not saying be brash or overbearing either, but the quietly confident business person gets a lot accomplished in this world.

And as for those 1,000,000 to 1 odds of getting published? It's actually a 50/50 gamble. You either will or you wont.