For a long time, I scoffed at the mania surrounding literary agents. Just recently I read something to the effect of:
You have an AGENT reading your book!
It was not directed at me, but it did make me laugh. An AGENT....ha! I expected some sort of emoticon that went: dum, dum, DUM! It's like these agent people are super-human beings with the power to make or break your entire life.
Seriously, I've always been pretty unconcerned by the idea of landing an agent. I don't know if this is general naivety, a grand sort of arrogance regarding my writing abilities, or something else entirely (like, say, fear 0_o). Whatever it is, I've never submitted anything to an agent (or done all that much research)before two weeks ago. Of course, given my unusual rate of manuscript requests, this non-chalance has been quite difficult to maintain.
Now, as I sit here using all my Jedi Mind Tricks to make the damn phone ring (and it not be my wife asking if I've heard anything...), I realize something.
Signing with a literary agent is a big deal. You're probably like, Wow, do the insights ever cease? Way to go, Mensa. Of course, I'd love to drop the LA bomb on people.
Waiter: What would you like to drink?
Super Writer (me): Oh, I don't know...what is the best thing for a guy who Just Signed with A Freakin' Literary Agent(!!!!) to drink?
Obviously that's a perk.
The past few days, however, I've really thought about what it would mean to be offered representation. It means you've created something that somebody else believes in - is willing to champion, to love. Again, while that may seem obvious to some, it came as a bit of a revelation to me today. I think that's why I enjoy writing - the act of creation. Maybe it's the hope that I am creating something universal, something that sparks inside another person. While other people write because they just can't NOT write, I find it to be a completely different reason. I write because I know - when I finish that last revision - no matter what I'm left with, it is something that I have struggled with and shaped.
So, when an agent gets that - connects with your manuscript in a way where they want to sign you up? Man, talk about some affirmation.
I'm writing this because - honestly - I've got nothing else to do except check my E-mail and jump every time the phone rings.
You know, waiting for that affirmation.