Yesterday I read Jessica Faust’s post about a day in her life (not a typical day, just a day), and it occurred to me that I always get warm fuzzies when I read about agents checking in with their clients to see how they’re doing.
Maybe it’s just the agents whose blogs I read, or maybe it’s that agents who are the best with people will be more likely to set up helpful blogs, but I love that a writer could go on Twitter and say they’re having a hard day, and get a call from their agent the next day.
Now, before you call me naive, of course I know that agents and writers have a professional relationship. And yes, it makes good business sense for an agent to check in with her authors. But just because it’s done out of professionalism doesn’t mean it’s not helpful.
Sometimes it makes me think that the best thing about having an agent would be having the kind of relationship where I could send an email to say I’m struggling, and have someone to talk it through.
Before I started blogging, I didn’t have that at all. Over the last year, though, I’ve been able to virtually meet loads of writers who’ve helped me out.
As an unpublished, unagented writer, I don’t have a professional obligation to write. I do it because it’s my passion. But that also means the only deadlines I have are the ones I set myself. And that means they’re easy for me to shift.
It can be difficult to find people who will encourage you to set goals and then cheer you on while you try to meet them. By being active online, and keeping my eyes open, I’ve found two groups that’ve done that for me.
The first is my critique group, Rumored Romantics. There are currently three of us (we’re going to start looking for a fourth in a few days), and every week one of them critiques one of my chapters. That means I need to have a new chapter for them to look at every other week. Even better, when I’ve struggled with a chapter until it felt like my eyes would bleed, they’ve put extra time aside to help me.
The second is my group on Savvy Authors. We’re a small group of people who write contemporary stories. I joined about a month ago, just in time for the Savvy summer scrimmage, where each team kept track of how many words they wrote, how many pages they edited, and how much time they spent writing. Every day, my team emailed each other our stats, along with loads of cheers and encouragement. Every evening as I stared at my word count, I thought, “I bet I can get to a round number. I told them I’d write 1,000 words today. I’m going to write 1,001.”
Who do you have holding you accountable? An editor, and agent, or other writers? How did you find them?
Image copyright Rajesh Sundaram/sxc.hu