I quite like my agent. I’ve even sent another author to her who was looking for representation. She’s really nice. Plus she cheerleads when she loves my writing, which is surprisingly often, and feels terrific. But here’s my fave: when I get rejections, rather than my having to see an envelope in the mail and open it with fear and hope and anxiety, she gets them, and then sends me an email that says, the story “came back” from X publisher.
I’m no fool. I know that came back = no. But somehow it doesn’t feel quite as bad as when she sends me the letters or the emails themselves. It might be that she detected my hurt from the last email rejection, but whatever the reason, I’m just happy I don’t have to face those bad boys alone.
Sometimes I worry that she’s not looking critically enough at my writing, but I have to trust her judgement, even if I can’t trust my own. She does have a National Book Award Winner among her many clients, after all. I’m a neophyte compared to them, and a struggling one at that.
Writing is hard. And lonely. And often sucky. And that’s why agents are handy.
If you are looking for an agent, I recommend Writer’s Market’s 2009 Guide to Literary Agents. I used the Writer’s Market guide to find mine.