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You know that funny feeling in the pit of your stomach? Not the one you get when you're in love, but the one that pinches and pulls you in a different direction than you're trying to go? That feeling should not be ignored. Ever. You may think the feeling will go away as you do whatever it is you want to do. It won't. The feeling will only grow into a beast that eats away at your insides.
Because somewhere along the line, you lost your way. You were wrong.
What I'm about to say is sensitive. Though I think if you can learn by me or circumstances surrounding, that's enough reason to do this. I signed with my agent in January of this year. If you remember, there was no celebratory post, though I'd been "working" with this agent since July of last year. Of course, I like to be low-key when it comes to writing, but also, this agent gave me that strange feeling and I ignored it. At first, it was all surreal. Like WOW I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS IS HAPPENING! Then, slowly, emails weren't returned and finally communication was cut off completely for about three months after the agent had promised revision notes that were never sent.
I was so heartbroken, I stepped aside from writing altogether. Until one day out of the blue, I got an email from the agent asking how the revision was coming along. I was flabbergasted and confused. Even with that feeling still gnawing in my stomach, she finally sent the revision notes and I got right to work. At that point, I wasn't doing it for her. I desperately wanted to transform my story into something amazing, because I knew I could, if someone would just believe in me.
In early January, despite interest from other agents, the agent offered representation. Though in retrospect, it was reluctant. I accepted NOT because I felt she was the best fit, but because I felt like I'd owed it to her for "working" with me for so long. She didn't want me to announce the news. She prompted me to "keep it to myself" and wait until my book sold like it would be sweeter that way, when really, it hurt and I felt like she was ashamed of me. And still, my stomach was burning a firey warning I didn't heed.
Through another round of revisions and a month's(+) worth of emails that were never returned, I decided to finally listen to my gut and terminate the contract. It was hard. I cried about it. A LOT. It felt like I was letting my story, my characters, my DREAM die. But I knew it had to be done. After the official letter, and emails, were sent, she never even responded...
And now, the reason this is all coming out now, is not to bash the agent. I'm grateful for the notes she gave me, and for a short time, letting me feel like I could make it. Recently she [unexpectedly] left agenting altogether, just weeks after I made the decision for myself. AND THANK BERT I DID. It appears as though this agent not only led me on, but (from what I hear) for those clients who were out on sub....SHE NEVER ACTUALLY PUT THEM ON SUB.
I can't even digest this information. I feel terrible for all those clients who didn't opt out like I did, and THOUGHT they were being represented in a good, honorable way. Lack of communication is one thing, but man-oh-man....to lie about putting someone's DREAMS on submission is a whole other level.
So, kids, while querying my beloved story for the last time, sit back and really listen to that feeling you're ignoring. It might be hard. It might suck. But it also might serve to protect you, before you get hurt. It doesn't only apply to writers, either. It applies to everyone with a neglected backbone. I want you to find it, use it and be strong. Remember, no one is in charge of your future, except you.
Honestly, friends, what would you have done here?
Have faith. You're gut will guide you. Promise.