Sunday, August 3, 2014

Don't Fixate on the Numbers

I announced last week that I signed with an agent.

For years I've read author's posts about How I Got An Agent--and I've always found them inspiring. I'd gobble up every useful piece of information, and try to implement it in my own writing and querying journey. And I couldn't wait until the day that I would get to write my own post about signing with an agent. 

But in most of these How I Got An Agent stories, there were the NUMBERS, and I'd fixate on those NUMBERS. So and so wrote this many books before they got their agent. Or it took so and so only ten queries before they got five offers. Or so and so queried eighty get my point. And even though I knew the numbers didn't really matter, that it really only takes finding one agent who is passionate about your writing--deep down I let the numbers eat at me.

I'd say I was pretty positive the first eight or so years of my journey. But then it got so bad, I couldn't even walk into a book store. I didn't like going to the library. I didn't like watching movies. I stopped tweeting. I wouldn't listen to any new audio books. I hung out with what I'd like to say my comfort books: Harry Potter, Anna and the French Kiss, etc....

Because in my mind, I had put in the numbers. I poured my heart and soul into producing numbers that should have gotten me some kind of step forward in my writing career...something. 

And, yet, nothing was happening for me. 

I can't say exactly how I got out of my funk. I think it was a combination of taking a Mediabistro YA Novel Writing Course with Emilia Rhodes last fall, learning how to knit, and sketching again, and just time....time to change my attitude. And, most importantly, talking to other writers who had been through it. 

Fast forward to July.
I'm reading up on Adriann Ranta's clients.
And then I get to Ron Smith's How I Got An Agent post. And I respected the fact that he didn't get into the numbers of queries, the number of full requests, the number of books he wrote that got him to where he was. We all love stats because we're all curious muffins. But Ron said it best: I have to say what everyone else has said and you’ve heard it a million times: It only takes one Yes.

I tried to make the signing video focus on different type of numbers--the numbers that make a journey worthwhile.

So I guess the purpose of this post is that if I can save just one aspiring writer from the misery I put myself through by fixating on the numbers--I'll consider writing this post a success.


  1. Congratulations! So glad to hear that you still hung in there (and still are). I ignored the stat thing in my agent post as well, simply because 1) I didn't keep close track, 2) I didn't want to think about it. It's not about the numbers as much as the learning experience that goes with it. We each have our own path to go - just like everything else in life.
    So glad to have found your blog!

    1. Thank you for stopping by! And yes, we each have our own unique journey whether it be in life or writing. I wish you continued success with your own writing =)