Sunday, September 18, 2011

"On agent letters and the working man"

I have a delima.

I desperately want to be a published writer. One day, I want to be a professional novelist. I love writing, and my head is so full of ideas right now that I feel that, given the time and motivation to do so, I could write new stories forever.

I'm also terrified of failure and incredibly insecure in my own abilities. I have a manuscript for a novel that I think is pretty good. I've read and re-read  and edited it about a dozen times, and I'm mostly ready to start sending it to agents. I've even started writing a template agent letter. But the more I try to summarize my novel, the stupider it sounds. The concept, the characters, the ending... when I try to condense it for an agent letter, it all sounds so stupid.

I have a day job right now. The safe thing to do would be to just concentrate on my day job, try to move up the ladder in my corporation and just stick to writing as a hobby and share it with those who read my blog.

My problem is here. I can't decide which prospect scares me more: putting myself out there and potentially failing at what I'd love to do the most, or staying at my day job for the rest of my life and never pursuing it at all.

Maybe I'm just having a down day. I hope that's it.
Okay, no more moping. I promise a story or cartoon later this week.


  1. I think you and I are in the same place right now. I recently sent my manuscript to an agent. I finally decided, even if it is seen as total crap by the experienced eye, that I just had to get it out there and see. I still haven’t heard anything yet. I also have a job that I should be giving all of my attention to, but I also have a story to tell. The whole query process can be quite stressful because of all the many areas an author has to decide upon. I think one of the hardest parts is summarizing your own novel. Sometimes an uninvolved or unattached person can do this better than the author. I would be willing to read your manuscript and offer summary ideas. There are also others in the “blogverse” that do this more professionally than me. Check out It was very comforting for me to read your blog and realize I am not the only one in this scary position. Good luck on your quest. I’ll be following.

  2. Thanks for sharing; it really helps to know I'm not the only one. Are you on Twitter? Twitter has a surprisingly large (and helpful) independent writing community. I recommend you check it out. You could start by checking out my profile (@FedoraFugitive) and seeing who I'm following for reference. If nothing else, we can all commiserate about writer's block together. :)

  3. I am on twitter. I am @kimmilauer. Thank you for the helpful hints.