Rant You’ve got to be kidding me...

How did you become a Bookworm?


Is your character Earth? Air? Water? Fire?

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Oct 14, 2015
Houston, TX
It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but this appalled my delicate sensibilities as a writer (/s), so I had to share.

I was browsing r/writing yesterday, when I came across a question posed to the community. It asked published writers how many times their work was rejected before being published. Most of the responses were about what you would expect: many writers had hundreds of rejections and multiple retired projects.

Then this guy shows up...

He wrote a novel and was lucky enough to have an agent represent the work, but the stress of writing something else while the agent shopped it to publishers was simply unbearable. When I pointed out that he was lucky to have an agent, he said that was the easy part. And, apparently, the only lesson learned from the whole experience was that the novel he wrote, and eventually sold, probably wasn’t the best one to write as a debut.


I’ve been on Litopia for a little over two years and I’ve never heard anyone describe the publishing process as easy. And I’ve never heard anyone lament the publishing process one they’ve gotten far enough to be a part of it.

As I pointed out to the person on reddit: agents accept under 1% of the queries that are sent to them, so getting that far is phenomenal. And complaining about your agent taking time to sell a work? That comes across as ungrateful.

Now, I’m not trying to be mean, but having spent so much time here, I’m well aware of the daily struggle most writers go through BEFORE querying agents. Then, when querying begins, it’s a whole different level of stress and worry.

Perhaps I just can’t understand this writer’s predicament because I haven’t experienced it? Perhaps I’m being too critical? What does everyone else think?
Reddit is a repository for rubbish (that's my alliteration quota satisfied for the day), as well as a source of useful information, so I'd take what some boasters say with a ton of salt!

To highlight the hard slog that we unknown authors face, I've seen it said, that of the 1% of queries that merit further examination by literary agents, only 10% of those go on to be offered representation!

I think Carol is right and you're not getting the whole story. You've at least noticed the implausibility of his tale of woe. If his writing was so good he instantly received the attention of a GOOD agent would you be listening to his lament on reddit? Probably not. So, is the breakdown at the 'good' part of the agent story, or the 'good' before the writing part of the story, or is the entire thing nonsense? Eh.

It's interesting that his takeaway was that he was tapped for greatness too soon. How precious.
I do see, galling and smug as his complaint might seem, that there's a cold sweat following an initial success. Can you do it again? You don't know, OMG. You don't KNOW! Not unless you're some kind of human vending machine. People are relying on you now. Before, they didn't know you. But now they do, and they need you to help them make their way, and also pay their bills. Or else you are GONE.


Like the footballers, those modern gladiators. Like Dylan Thomas, Byron et al. Slaves to the Daemon. Subject to terror and fits of panic.

But who hasn't been there, that cares at all about their work, whatever it might be? I don't have his problem but in other areas of work I can never rest on any laurels, I'm only ever as good as the last job.

He might be entirely sincere. Ask not for whom the bell tolls....one day it might be thee :)
Does sound odd. Perhaps he has gone down the Vanity Press route? Which would make it very easy to get an 'agent', but then ....
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How did you become a Bookworm?


Is your character Earth? Air? Water? Fire?