Monday, June 1, 2015

Why I Stopped Praying To Get An Agent This Year

What I discovered in a year that made me come to this conclusion:

  • There is no one way to become a successful author/illustrator.
  • Flash and short stories are quick, fun little nuggets of entertainment, and the market for them is nothing to sneeze at. 
  • Maybe I'd rather be an illustrator first.
  • My novel needs revising.
  • I don't like revising larger works and need to learn how to motivate myself
  • Procrastinating results in a lot of valid work that is not a novel. 
  • I can submit that work to magazines.
  • I don't need pressure from editors right now.
  • Balancing my drawing and writing is not easy and I need time to figure it out.
  • I have a million things to do outside of working on my novel.
  • There's something better for me than what I thought I wanted.

That last one is the biggest of all.

Recently, I submitted a story only to later discover a higher-paying opportunity I couldn't take. This taught me not to be hasty and not to assume the first thing I see is the best thing out there. Taking hits from query rejections and stressing over finding an agent isn't the only way to become traditionally published. That's not to say I won't ever query again, but I'm going to be smarter about it when I do.

Have you changed your mind about a big goal you once had?


  1. Good for you! I once wanted to be a full-time journalist at our provincial paper, instead of "just" a freelancer. But over time, I grew to love the freedom freelancing gave me, and before I knew it, decided I didn't want the full-time gig after all. It had more security, but the full-timers didn't seem to be very happy. And when a bunch of them got laid off, I realized the security part was a myth.

  2. Illustrator sounds like it would be more enjoyable. If you're not sure, take time to decide. And there is more than one way to become traditionally published, such as through small presses, anthologies, and magazines.

  3. Thanks! I'm liking the freedom of freelance. I just have to nail down the jobs. It's slow going right now, but it's a learning experience. I'm glad it worked out so well for you, Holli. Freedom is definitely the way to go.

  4. Right, Alex. Illustration is a lot of fun. Thanks for the comment.

    I convinced myself I was running out of time because what if someone else publishes a story similar to mine before I get an agent? Now, I'm trying to let that go and work at my own pace. The day job helps take the pressure off.

  5. I think illustrating would be all sorts of fun.

  6. It is. And when I'm working on a piece I'm passionate about, time just melts away.


I'd love to hear what you have to say!

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