Fear and Cold Water

I made a mistake today. I posted a list of agents who actively participate in social media that I would like to work with. There was discussion on the list and whether it was appropriate. Checking my email quickly while I was at work, I found the discussion continued by an agent whose opinion I value. I disagreed with the opinion, was in fact hurt and offended by part of it, but nonetheless I deleted my post. She said that such a post would inhibit my potential to find an agent. It may. I'm okay with it now. In my hurt and in my shock, I deleted it. I questioned everything I had been working toward and the community I was attempting to become a part of.

In a way, her post was a good thing. It was a splash of cold water to wake me up from the dream that is the internet. A digital play has formed that mimics real life: friendships, relationships, knowledge more intimate than strangers have of one another but less than true friends do. It's easy to forget through daily blog postings and 15-minute Twitter updates that you don't know any of these people, and they don't know you. They are not your friends and are not attempting to be so. It is a business. It is all business. We all know this, but it's so easy to forget when people are talking about books you've read or trips to Starbucks or reading on the Subway, things you do. It's even harder on media such as Twitter where you can watch whole conversations unfold if you're following all the participants.

I was not prepared for that illusion to be shattered so coarsely, especially not by someone I respected. I panicked. I deleted the post. And was depressed about it all for the entire day until I just sat down at my computer and typed out a response to the comment that was repeated as a blog post. I do not know if that comment will ever be posted. The absurdity of it all is that my list of six agents (because I included but Kristin and Sara at Nelson Literary Agency) was taken from a total list of 11 agents. Of those that specifically ask for fantasy and actively keep a blog/LJ/Twitter account, there are a whopping 11 people.

If you are an aspiring writer, you should have a list. It's up to you whether you post it, but you should have a list. You should research agents and find those whose vision, goals, and personality are a good compliment to your own.

Frankly, I don't think I'd like to work with an agent upset at not being on my list. If I am not included on a list, I look at those that were and see what they do that I do not that earned them their place on the list. It's an opportunity for improvement. Anyone who takes offense rather than saying thank you is not someone I would work well with.

Post Script: It was also said my original post was condescending. It was not intended to be so, and I apologized to those agents that took offense.