A funny thing happened on my way to publication: writing stopped being a solitary pursuit. Yes, getting the words down on paper every day is still entirely up to me, but I no longer fear I’m the only one who will ever care about them.
I should clarify. My critique partners care, too. Of course they do. They are always thoughtful in their reading and helpful in their edits. Their feedback on my words (which they read over and over again these past few years, by the way) is what helped me finally secure an agent, to reach this next plateau. They. ROCK. But they also have day jobs, families, laundry, plumbers to call, vacations to plan, and their own writing. You see where I’m going with this?
For the first time in my career, my writing is *someone else’s job* as well as mine. I know my agent has a lot of clients, and she works for all of them. That’s what’s so amazing. Even when I’m tending to other things, someone is still trying to get my book published. It’s not all on me anymore. We’re a team. She can focus on one book while I’m writing another. How many days (weeks?) did I spend writing, editing, cataloguing and updating the status of dozens of query letters? Or researching literary agencies? Or reading craft books and articles so I could make my book better and more likely to find a home?
How many times have I wished I could clone myself so that I could spend all that time writing instead?
That’s what I mean. Now I’ve got help. A partner. A champion. Someone who loves my story as much as I do.
No, the publishing industry doesn’t move nearly as fast as the cyclists in this picture. But my agent and I are moving through it together, and that fact alone has renewed my energy. Some days, just knowing she’s there makes a difference. And some days, that difference is everything.