Manuscript, check. Social Media Presence, check. Even an MA in Creative Writing, check. (Well, graduating this year…)
“Get an agent,” they say. Easier said than done.
Hmm, do I want an agent? Probably, but isn’t that what we’re told to do as writers? The real question is, do I really, truly need an agent? Here’s why I’m starting to think not…And it’s all about #cloudsanddirt.
So, do me a favour – stick your head in those fluffy white clouds that float freely around your grey matter and ask yourself…as an unpublished author…which would you prefer:
- agented publishing success?; or
- independent publishing success
I’m guessing most of you – and even me until recently – would opt for No.1.
But here’s why I’ve changed my mind.
As of 11th May 2018, I have failed to secure an agent. Failed. Had this been at any other point in time, i.e. pre-social media society, I would have absolutely taken that as a devastating blow because “vanity” publishing was frowned upon by the establishment.
But today, it’s a whole different ball game, people. As @GaryVee points out, if you’re not on social media and connected you are irrelevant. You don’t exist. If you don’t accept that, cool. But don’t whine about it if the society that surrounds you remains plugged in because, let’s be honest, no-one will be unplugging anytime soon. If you do accept that…well…
Okay, let me explain and let me define the hashtag above.
Clouds – the space where our dreams and desires lie. What we want. What we envision.
Dirt – the graft, the time away from family and friends, the late nights, the constant, constant, constant…getting stuck in to what needs to be done. And doing it. Working hard. Doing it yourself. No damn excuses. Executing the plan. Doing the reading, sending the Tweet, engaging with followers, running Ad campaigns, researching trends and for me, as a writer of a fantasy-trilogy for children, getting the manuscript polished and polished again and again until you get “it” – your thing – to where you want it to be. But know this, the Dirt also happens to be the fun part.
“But what lies between the #cloudsanddirt?” you ask.
Well, TRADITIONALLY, that would be the agent wouldn’t it? Now, I’m a woman who likes tradition in certain things, but the world evolves and if you don’t evolve with it, you will become a non-entity, and the hard thing to hear is that, people won’t care.
The two biggest commodities in the world today are time and attention. Time is always at a premium now. Attention is what everyone craves and demands. Think about it. For the last century we have had images, moving pictures, sound, the birth of video and recording. Now, it’s just on a whole new level. A global one. So, I intend to put in the time, take the time and get the attention I want for my books. My heart will be in the clouds, but my head and hands will be getting stuck right in to that dirt and that’s exactly how it should be.