Tuesday, August 18, 2009

God's Grace

Are you praying for who your agent will be? I sure need to. I didn't realize how the agent process really worked until I dove in to it. I'm learning and finding some things I like, some things I don't.

I'm used to rejections. After almost five years of writing, who wouldn't be? I sigh for about a half hour and then move on.

So far I've sent out a few queries and received a really nice rejection letter, a nice form rejection letter, a two-word No thanks, no reply, and some words of advice.

That's OK. But recently I sent in a sample query to a site that promises to give a good critique. I sent it once and it came back to me to I resent it but forgot to add one word in the Subject line. The person emailed me and told me to resend it since I forgot one word.

No, I didn't resend it.

Because I wondered what happened to God's grace.

I need to be praying for who my future agent will be. I want someone who recognizes I'm human and will try my best to be professional and to follow the directions. But I might make a mistake. Maybe once, maybe twice but I wouldn't want them to discount all my efforts because of it.

No, I'm not sure how I feel about this whole thing.

I'm concerned that some writer might be too afraid to pitch their work because someone might really knock them down.

So I'm praying--really praying that I'll know in my heart who the right agent will be for me. Hopefully, they will be filled with God's grace.

Are you praying for yours?

35 comments:

Warren Baldwin said...

We'll be praying with/for you. I'm still learning how important this part of the process is, too. God bless.

Eileen Astels Watson said...

I've been praying in general for all my writing needs, that God would lead, but I guess I really should be praying for those agent/editor appointments at conference too.

I'm sorry to hear of all your troubles there. Grace would certainly be nice for sure!!

Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought said...

I like to pray for who my agent will be. I think God plans to surprise me. I know I'll work hard and I hope to laugh with them. From there...it's God's gig. I'm just trying to listen well.
~ Wendy

Lin said...

haven't got this far yet...it's interesting if you make a connection with religion-Christ is our agent with God the Father and He is perfect. But earthly agents can't be...I definitely feel you can know who to select as you make your best judgment then ask in prayer for confirmation...

Andrea said...

I am praying for you. I must admit the agent thing overwhelms me. I am praying when the time comes that I need one GOD will indeed send the person HE has for me.
Blessings, andrea

Janna Qualman said...

I think this is a great post, Terri. I agree with you wholeheartedly.

I prayed back during my agent search last year, but haven't given it much conscious thought during my current writing stage. I'll definitely pick it up again when the time comes. Although you make me think to pray for this person without it being under the context of having them as my agent, if that makes sense.

Galen Kindley--Author said...

This is kinda like Harry Potter’s wand. It picks you, you don’t pick it. Agent selection is sorta the same thing. You play a roll by due diligence and submitting to someone who’s accepting submissions and works in your genre. After that, it’s pretty much out of your hands.

Sadly, it’s a buyer’s market, so, agents pick and choose. Some, I regret to say rudely, using number of submissions or overwhelming workload as an excuse. Sorry, but, I don’t buy that. A little simple courtesy—to include a polite, pro-forma rejection note isn’t too much to ask. Things like, “If you don’t hear from me, you’re rejected,” or, “Disobey any of these submission rules…which differ widely from agent-to-agent, by the way…and I’ll delete without opening.” Where’s the love? Where’s the humanity? “Gone to flowers, everyone” apparently.

Lots of good luck, Terri.

Best Regards, Galen
Imagineering Fiction Blog

Jennifer Shirk said...

That's great! God hears you.

I'm not praying for an agent right now, but I always pray for direction in my writing career.

T. Anne said...

I am praying. I trust God will lead me down the road He chooses. (I also pray it's not chalk too full of lessons lol. I hope the journey is joyful)

BeckyJoie at Leaders in Learning said...

People definitely need grace when working with people. For instance, personal emails are hard to keep as professional looking as a hard copy letter. I recieved one by an editor who had less than a professional sounding email. Their product was top notch but email not so great. I showed grace. I hope others will do the same for me.

Jill Kemerer said...

My professional life has had many more downs than ups, so I'm always surprised if something comes easily. I guess I expect to jump hurdles because they're my normal. Does that make sense? Silly, huh?

I'm so proud of you for continuing your submissions! Go, go, go!

Melissa Marsh said...

You make some excellent points. There is so much advice out there on querying agents, etc., and how you must NEVER make a mistake. But if you do...so what? We're all human, after all! But I'm not sure that mentality translates to the publishing world in the querying stages, though I dearly hope I'm wrong.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

That would make me pause...

Yes, we all could use some grace when it comes to dealing with others' mistakes. Honestly, I can't believe how "cut-throat" of our world these days. What happened to grace?

Hang in there, and by all means, pray for that agent! You'll know a good match when you find one.

peace~elaine

Lazy Writer said...

Great post! I've been praying for an agent, but had not considered praying about what kind of agent that would be.

Chip MacGregor said...

Nice post! (This is me, commenting.)

Chip

Heather Sunseri said...

What a wonderful reminder. I pray for most of my writing concerns/needs. I need to pray for the type of agent that will eventually like my work and want to represent me. On the same note, I do pray for my blogging/writing friends. We're somewhat of an online small group that I hope is pulling for each other as much as we are praying for ourselves.

Thanks, Terri, for the awesome post.

Galen Kindley--Author said...

just saw this on twitter...RT @ColleenLindsay: I *will* auto-reject you if you use the phrase "fictional novel" anywhere in your query. No excuse for that.

Guess that makes my earlier point.

Lily said...

I will pray that when God's pick comes along you will recognize it.

I'm learning that this is a school of hard knocks. Don't be discouraged. With all the submissions they receive, they need a way to quickly whittle the numbers.

Add that word and resubmit. It could be priceless to you later...

Jody Hedlund said...

Very good point, Terri. God can direct us to the right agent for us. There are so many wonderful ones available. He'll lead you to the right one for your personality!

ginny said...

I think you need a prayer partner. I will add you to my list. Try not to be discouraged...the right agent will come along. Keep going!

Kara said...

I love that you say this! We need to pray for God's grace and direction in our writing and that includes for an agent as well. I've been so turned off by many of the processes we have to go through, discouraged by agents or editors that seem not very Christian-like. I will be praying for you!

sarah said...

Regardless of the lack of grace out there God has His plan. He gave you a writer's heart and a determined spirit. Your struggle to win inspires me.I think now we're all praying for you to "crack the code" and get a contract. It will happen. Sarah

Greg C said...

Take it from me, don't let one person turn you off from writing. You are a great writer. Keep trying and keep praying. I will pray for you too.

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

I am praying for you...love your blog.

Sande said...

The thought of an agent never even occurred to me ..... guess never dreamed that far .... that big. Seems to fairytale to surreal.

Seed sown ...!

Kathryn Magendie said...

I chose not to have an agent and went with an indie press...

Long back, before my ms was ready, I queried a few agents - about 20 I guess - well, some of them were nice people, some were faceless form letters - 2 were rude-they didn't know me and I didn't know them, but their attitudes and way of doing business was rude and unprofessional ...some agents have become jaded, just as some editors have and soem writers have....

You are so right that if you get an agent, you should feel comfortable with them -trust your instincts.

It's a tough dang business....even after you publish the pressure is still on

I want to tell writers: steel yourself

Mainly I tell myself to do what I love ... write.

One more thing: I hate querying agents so much that even though people keep telling me I need to do it for the second and subsequent books, I haven't done it....I keep putting it off...ugh!

Carmen said...

Forgot one word? I wouldn't have resent it either. That's just petty. You're right to pray, and grace is definitely not an overrated asset!

Jessica said...

I've been praying generally but not specifically for an agent. I have ideas of who I want, so maybe I'd better get on my knees! LOL
Sorry to hear about the one word thing. Weird.

Stephanie Faris said...

You know, you make some good points. The problem is, agents are inundated with queries so they set rules...mostly to make it easier for them. But you have to wonder if they pass over the next big thing because she misspelled their name in the query or didn't follow instructions to the letter. I believe a good agent will look past all that because, in the end, they need talented writers as much as talented writers need them.

Jeanette Levellie said...

What a wonderful idea, Terri. It's similar to praying for a marriage partner, huh?

One word? You are better off without that agent. How sad.

I love Psalm 5:12 and Isaiah 30:18.

I will pray for you, dear.

Nancy said...

God has many ways of telling us no and yes,doesn't He? I believe you will know when you get the right person. There will be some type of thing going on between the two of you where you will knowt that you can work together. I'm praying for you.

Sassy Granny ... said...

Oh boy, this is getting serious. Agents? How cool! Next thing you know you'll be doing a book-signing event, or appearing on Larry King Live.

I don't have an agent-in-waiting, but I'll sure pray for yours.

You go girl!
Kathleen

Billy Coffey said...

I spent years querying agents, and to no avail. Then I realized that I should be praying more than querying. That's when I found my agent. I've spent my time since then banging my head against the wall because I really should have been praying from the beginning.

RickNiekLikeBikes said...

You make great points. I don't yet know the full length of this process and I don't quite know what to pray for. Thanks for the encouragement.

Robin @ Be Still and Know said...

Ya know, a funny thing happen to me the other day in bible study, the person sitting next to me just happens to be an editor...it will be very interesting to see where this relationship goes. We have 32 weeks together to develop a friendship. 32 weeks to study together, 32 weeks...

Blessings
Robin