You may be shaking your heads, saying: ummmm didn’t you have an agent, like last month? Correct! But sadly, that agent and I parted ways. What caused it will forever be between the two of us, so no questions, please! It was sorta devastating, and I’m going to leave it in the past where it belongs. I will say though, I’m forever grateful that they took a chance on me and gave me the opportunity to pursue this writing dream of mine. I wish them nothing but the best, and I have no doubt of their future success.
So. Picture it. I just got home from seeing Black Panther, my heart felt full, my mind was still reeling from Killmonger’s arc, “All the Stars” by Kendrick Lamar + SZA was on repeat, and I opened my email to find out that I was unagented. PANIC!
I took a week off to come to term with my feelings—I’m an emotional sort, which you can probably tell. It’s surprising that week didn’t extend to a month or even a year: failure is one of my top three greatest fears/disappointments. I was having a rough time of it.
The week passed, but I was a miserable, whiny whatnot with friends. I have no doubt that I was frustrating to talk to. (If you guys are reading this, I’M SORRY. I CAN GIVE YOU CHOCOLATE?) And then I got to work.
You guys may not know this about me, but I’m a hustler. I started early too. By eight, I was shoveling driveways in my tiny Boston suburb for money. By eleven, I was cleaning neighbors’ houses and helping them bring their groceries upstairs for change. By thirteen, I was polishing silver at the antique store downtown. By fourteen, I got my first “official” job as a Page at the local library. This left a lasting impression on me. From there on out, I knew my life would–and should–always revolve around books.
Many years–and jobs (including: Usher Captain at Trinity Rep, food critic for The Cranston Herald, pastry chef, baker, food creationist, a clerk at 7-Eleven for one day, page–again, bookseller at Border’s Books, RA/SRA/GA, Cooking Instructor, Kindergarten Teacher, Children’s Librarian for Brooklyn Public Library<—one of the greatest highlights of my life, and an aspiring writer throughout) later, and here I am. Living abroad in Germany, writing. And not just writing aimlessly, I’m writing YA scifi and fantasy that could one day be published!
By some miracle, I have a truly exceptional agent. Nothing is lost on me. I’m a biracial black woman writing about black teen girls saving their worlds, falling in love, and jamming out to their favorite songs. A few years ago, I would be considered a tough sell. Maybe I still am. But my agent understands me, what I’m going for, is supportive, honest, has great hopes for me, and is 100% a joy to talk to! I feel like I’ve hit the jackpot. I HAVE hit the jackpot. I don’t know what the future holds, but it looks bright.
So, to conclude this long post, keep dreaming, never give up, persist until you must desist, keep fighting the good fight. Failure is natural. It’s ok to fear it, but don’t let it conquer you. And here’s something that’s not said enough– writers part with their agents ALL THE TIME. Not everyone feels a story the same way. Visions don’t match up. Communication styles don’t fit. Maybe there’s not enough time. Maybe you’ll want to write something your agent doesn’t rep. The list goes on. You just can’t let it break your heart and resolve. You are a writer. Your MCs probably don’t give up, so why should you? This industry is subjective. Things change. It’s unpredictable. That’s life for you. It’s so incredibly short that you have to reach for the stars, but also the longest thing you’ll ever do, so why not make the absolute best of it?
Thank you all for the support. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it or how much it means to me. And thanks for reading!