A couple of personal takeaways from Wendy’s article:
Agents apparently have almost as much difficulty finding authors as authors have finding agents. Agents and authors both swim in a teeming, turbulent sea. Knowing that agents also find it difficult to make meaningful connections encourages me: this isn’t an easy job for anyone, but we really are struggling together toward the same goal!
Time is a valuable asset. (Of course, this is true for all of life, not just for writing and the publishing industry!) Making contact, even if it is slight – a conference, a workshop, a comment on a website or blog post; making repeated contact; engaging with people in multiple contexts…over time, this interaction gives agents and authors opportunities to connect and to develop relationships. Perhaps one of those relationships will eventually lead to agent representation!
God is sovereign. As I read Wendy’s article, I thought, “It is a miracle an author and an agent ever find one another!” Earlier this week, I was reading in Genesis 37: Jacob sent Joseph to Shechem to search for his brothers, who were watching the sheep. Verse 15 says: “And a man found him [Joseph] wandering in the fields. And the man asked him, ‘What are you seeking?'” The man sends Joseph to Dothan, where his brothers first conspire to murder him, then decide to throw him in a pit, and finally sell him into slavery to a passing caravan of Ishmaelites.
My footnote for verse 15 says: “Because of this divinely ordained delay [outside of Shechem] the Ishmaelites arrived at just the right time (vv. 21-28).” God kept Joseph wandering around outside of Shechem just long enough to make sure Joseph and the Ishmaelite caravan were in the same place at the same time, in order to accomplish His purposes.
Authors and agents: finding one another is difficult; we are more likely to find one another if we take advantage of multiple “small” opportunities to connect over time.
Ultimately, however, God controls and ordains all the details of the author/agent relationship – whom we meet and when, as well as the moment when something finally “clicks” between two people. That, my friend, gives me great encouragement indeed!