Trying to find a literary agent is much like putting yourself on an internet dating site. You spend a great deal of time stressing over how to describe yourself and your work without sounding obnoxiously confident but you have to nail that very fine line between determination and arrogance without exaggerating either of those things. Contrary to internet dating, that agent is only looking for one very specific thing and if you don’t have it, they move on.
I have never been comfortable being the person to profess my strengths. I can write for days about subjects that have nothing to do with me, but words vanish as soon as I have to point them in my direction. I am extremely happy with the final product of my first novel and so are my Beta readers. I want nothing more than to find an agent or a publisher who believes in it as much as I do. But that process is much more daunting than staring at that first blank page, knowing that you have to string together over 80,000 words in an articulate and entertaining way.
Agents and publishers who are not interested in your work will not dangle bait in the water to see if you bite. They are more than willing to move on to the next pond because there are so many fish and so few anglers. An agent can’t even cast a line into a body of water without a frenzy of fish ready to fight to the death for the rare hook that shines in the distance. In a sea of Piranhas, I feel like I am the poor carrion waiting at the bottom to be consumed by the predatory beasts with the sharper teeth.
But there is always hope. I know that one day, those Piranhas will have distracted themselves by something very shiny and I will be in the right spot in the pond at the right time, staring at a hook that was meant to catch only me. And like every angler who is waiting for the “big one” knows, it’s all about patience.