Authors in grad school often make pacts like the ones in dweeby marriage movies “whichever of us gets published first will pull the other up by our coattails” (okay marriage movies have them swearing they’ll marry each other, but just go with the bloggish half-metaphor….) – point is, once one of the pair gets their long suffering manuscript to print, the other is usually left hanging. Wondering: Why isn’t he taking me to lunch with his agent? does he hate me? -- and friends, I’m here to tell you what he’s actually doing is spending precious writing time staring at his guilty face in the mirror.
Because it doesn’t work that way.
You have an agent, your relationship is that of the young blonde to the dying billionaire – (yeah, I need to coin a phrase for really bad metaphors invented by people who blog) – as a writer with a new agent, you know you are the flavor of the moment but if you don’t put out and put out good, your agent is definitely moving on. So unless your friend is blonde and looks exactly like you i.e. has an attractive list of followers and writes what you write (oh crud, I am hating this metaphor more and more) you can’t just make introductions.
“My agent only takes on nonfiction” is sadly, in most cases, true. It’s hard to do anything beyond asking “Are you taking on new literary writers? I know a great…” before your agent’s eyes gloss over. Not that you shouldn’t try. Just like trying to set up that friend who is dying “at last” to get married.
God help me with these metaphors. (Bletaphors? Blogophores? Blechophores?) I’m going to stop while I’m ahead. Next week, I promise, I’ll give you an actual list of WAYS you can help each other out: whether you are the friend who is already published or the friend who is still looking for the agent. I have three ways you can –and should – actually help each other.
For now: write well!