Zen and the Art of Getting an Agent

First, I think I’d like you to visit this link. Then come back, and we’ll talk.

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Did you look over there? Good. Just two short days ago, Ferret was writing blog posts that were sort of low about his chances of getting an agent. I’m glad that this story had a happy ending. I think more so, because I’ve watched this struggle over a matter of years. I met him in 2009, and I know he’s been working on his writing career long before that.

This would be the point where I would normally do a reversal, and talk about myself. But since I’m so damn zen now (!), instead, I’d like to suggest that this experience is one that a lot of us can identify this. Why do I think Ferret finally got his agent? It’s the same old, sort of like the same old advice on how to lose weight. Which is a different post. Here’s what I see happening.

1. Ferret actively and continually improved his craft. He went to workshops and participated in other workshops, and tried to learn new tricks. He got educated.

2. Ferret ripped his stories to shreds and put them back together, a lot. He didn’t send out crap. He sent out solid stories that were worth reading. Strange, yeah, but worth reading. 🙂

3. Ferret kept writing and submitting. Even in his darkest hours of doubt, depression, and rejection, he kept at it. Persistence was Ferret’s mantra.

4. Ferret published short stories. He gained some recognition for it. Through this venue, he became a respected writer.

5. Ferret has an online presence as a writer, so people know what he’s like and can access him. This tends to give a writer a boost.

6. Ferret wrote a couple of novels. He sent them out. And got rejected. And sent them out. And got rejected. And sent them out. And didn’t get rejected.

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There’s probably a lot more than this I don’t know. But you know, there’s a lot of blog over in the Ferret-verse to get the whole picture. The point is, the salient points to me, my friends, is this one: all of this took time, and this man put in the time. He put in the work. He didn’t let the rejection and the depression keep him from doing that. He’s often said that it’s work for him, that he doesn’t have a natural sense of what to do. I can relate. I often intuit my way through a story, but costuming? Man, I had to build that skill through much trial and error. That ain’t easy. There was no magic bullet here, or overnight success. He worked hard.

And I’m more puritan than I like to admit, because that whole work ethic thing just works for me. Also, it should give you hope. It gives me hope. Because this is what I’m doing too–creeping closer and trying to stay on track, and working my way to my goal.

I like to see success for someone when they’ve put in time and effort. It makes me happy. And you know, if Ferret can do it, we can follow his path. In the best sense, this guy deserves the blue ribbon.

Now, I gotta go wrestle some stories to the ground. It’s my daily writing time.

Author: Catherine Schaff-Stump

Catherine Schaff-Stump writes fiction for children and young adults. Her most recent book, The Vessel of Ra, is the first book in the Klaereon Scroll series. She is currently working on its sequel, as well as penning the middle grade adventures of Abigail Rath, monster hunter.

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