Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Jumping Through Hoops

I wanted to title this post as, An Ode to Jumping Through Hoops, but it would have been a little long.

I am on the freeway connection between House-Hunting Land, and the Nation of House-Owning. Basically, I'm right in the middle. Our offer on a home was accepted. So that's great. But it doesn't mean the hoop jumping has suddenly ceased. Now, I'm jumping through a whole new set of round things.

And I'm okay with that. Because here's how I see it: At this time, the house prices are super low. And you want to know what else? So are the interest rates! Now, the reason these numbers have swung downward, has much to do with banks, and foreclosures, and basically the market tanking. So most of these homes for sale are bank-owned. And banks love hoops. Well, they love to watch you deal with hoops. And I'm gladly jumping, like a little kid playing hopscotch, chewing on a big wad of bubble gum. Because if it weren't for these homes being bank-owned, and the market bringing the interest rates down, I wouldn't be buying such a nice house.

Same goes for writing. You don't need a degree and ten years experience to be an author. And, if you're like me, you want to write lots of books, so it'd be a career. How many other careers can you think of that allow you entrance without an exact amount of years experience in the business, and a degree or two under your belt?

However, the flip side to this open-for-all mentality, is that it's open for all. Open for those who get a wild hair to write, whether they're any good at it, or not. Whether they are eager to learn and strengthen their skills, or not. Whether they even plan on making it a career, or not.

Thus, the hoops. The queries, synopsis', critiques, email stalking, agent stalking, blog trolling. You get the picture. Stuff you normally wouldn't be doing if you weren't trying to get published. And yet most of these are necessary if you choose the traditional route of publishing. Why? Agents need to weed out the wild-hair writers from the serious, career-minded ones.

And yes, I've heard writers comment that, "agents will work for us, so why do we have to beg for their attention". I hear yeah, I am not the begging type either. (Plus, I don't think agents want us to beg, and I also don't believe they work for the writer. I see it as a partner relationship. But, that's beside the point).

Because this career is open to anyone interested, agents get lots of personalities contacting them, and must take precautions to professionally wade through the river and locate the gold nuggets. And thankfully, every agent has a slight difference of opinion as to what a gold nugget looks like.

What I'm trying to say is that while hoops can be tiresome and bog you down, the activity also strengthens you. So instead of hating the system, I'm thankful that I have a shot at my dream job. And if that means I must prove myself in ways other than degrees and recorded experience, I'm happy to oblige. Hand me the box of bubble gum, and I'll jump away. :)


  1. Actually, agents are supposed to work for the author. That's how the whole thing started; writers would hire agents to handle non-writing tasks for them. Literally, the agent worked -for- the author. Was paid -by- the author. The whole thing. As the market changed and publishers ended up with the power (because they, too, once worked -for- the author), and the whole balance of power has shifted to the author being on the bottom. Basically, as it is now, the agents and the authors work for the publisher, and the agent is more like a manager than anything else. This is -not- how it should be. The author, the creator, should be the one with the power, not the other way around.

    On another note, we just went through the whole home buying thing last year, and I have several posts about it and how it related to me with writing.

    1. So you related home-buying to writing too? Funny.

      I realize the agent/author relationship started that way, but it seems more of a partnership now. It also used to be more difficult for laymen to get their stuff published...especially for women. And I think lots of establishments aren't how they should be. But as for me, right now, my way of thinking, I'm willing to roll with the punches. :)