As a querying author, I remember thinking “if only I could get an agent…”. At the time, that was the ultimate goal, the highest mountain to climb. Because once I signed with an agent, my life would be complete. Ha! That accomplishment was simply another hurdle in my quest to becoming published.
Once I signed with my fabulous agent, life was wonderful. I had made it. I thought I’d be able to relax and reap all the benefits of that success. Oh foolish girl! You see, signing with an agent is indeed a huge accomplishment, but it begins a new set of challenges. My book went out on submission and all I could think was “if only The Energy Crusades can connect with the right editor…”.
My journey with querying, learning about that process, connecting with agents, set me on the path to becoming an agent myself. When I was interning, I remember thinking “if only I could become an agent…”. When I reached that goal, I’d be able to read my own queries, pick my own projects, sign my own authors. Life would be perfect. *sigh*
And guess what? I did become an Associate Agent and life was wonderful and I could sit back and enjoy that success. But no, no, no. There were more hurdles to overcome and I thought “if only I could find an awesome project and sign an author…”. Seems easy right? Well, I received over 1000 queries in a 2 month period and felt quickly overwhelmed with the task, as if I was trying to find a needle in a haystack so to speak. The first project I loved, the author ended up signing with another agent, a disappointment for sure, but also confirmation that her story was something special. But I kept at it and I did sign an author, and then another one, and another one. I had done it! I’d accomplished what I set out to do and now I could sit back and relax and life would be perfect. When would I learn?
After signing my authors and sending them on submission, all I could think was “if only I could sell a project..”. If I could sell a project, then I would have truly made it and life would for sure be perfect this time. Right? Oh dear.
I did sell my first project and my author was thrilled, and I was thrilled, and my boss was thrilled and it was a series of congratulations and pats on the back. We did it! It was a team effort and we worked together to make it happen. I was (and am!) so proud of the project and the deal it secured I just knew I had truly made it and proved I could make it as an agent. Alas…
What I’ve learned about myself is I will never be “finished”. Once I accomplish a goal, my goal changes, new goals are added, new challenges begin. I’m a firm believer in writing down goals, talking about them, working on them, visualizing them. Goals should be specific and attainable. For instance, a goal of “I’m going to write a book”, is far too broad for me. A goal of “I’m going to write 300 words a day” is more my style.
I’m thinking other people suffer from the “if only’s” just as I do. It’s a quality I’m learning to appreciate about myself as I strive to reach my next goal. Bring it on!