Some life changes drift past you so slowly, you don’t recognize them as they’re happening. It may take years before you can look back and say, “Oh, that’s where things started to change for me.” Other life changes stand up, grab you by the shoulders, and give you a shake. “Here. Now. This,” they say, and just like that, your feet are on a new path.
The second type of life change happened to me last week, and I couldn’t be happier! I signed with a literary agent—the dynamic Lynnette Novak with the Seymour Agency.
So, what does this mean?
For those of you who aren’t familiar with this process, a literary agent is someone who agrees to try to sell your manuscript to publishers and handle all the legal negotiations and contracts. There’s a lot more to all that than I just made it seem. If they’re good, they more than earn their percentage of your income.
For me, finding an agent—and not just any agent, but one with a personality and drive that I think will mesh well with mine—has been a long journey. But now that I’ve found Lynnette, I can see that my writing career is taking a hard turn onto a new track. In the writing workshops I teach, this is what I call a “pivotal moment”—that moment when ordinary life is about to change.
It may not look like big changes from the outside. After all, I’ve been writing fiction for years, winning a few contests here and there, getting some short stories published, presenting workshops to other writers, and so on. But I’ve been doing that as a back-burner kind of enterprise, while the bulk of my energy and time was spent doing contract technical/medical writing.
Now, however, those two types of writing are going to switch burners. My fiction is going to take the front burner, while the contract writing I do will be trimmed down to part-time status.
Of course, just because I have an agent now doesn’t mean there’s any guarantee she’ll be able to convince an editor to buy my manuscripts. So, in a way, the hard part is just beginning. And if we do sell my manuscripts, then it means my career will take yet another turn into a lot more marketing. But that’s okay. I’m ready for the challenge.
It’s exciting to be able to see these changes in my life as they’re happening. I’m trying to take a few minutes here and there to stop myself and say, “Notice this. Your dreams have gotten a big step closer.”
This isn’t something I want to miss while it drifts pass. I want to plant a little flag and celebrate this moment, acknowledging all the work that’s gotten me to this new fork in the road. It’s not the end of the journey by a long shot. But it’s a pivotal moment worth celebrating.
This. Here. Now.