Embrace the ‘No’

This post is lightly inspired by an image posted by a friend. It was alluding to three important ‘rules’ to live by. I noticed the lack of embracing a no response, so I added it for her.

It is probably leading to a load of confusion for everyone who sees it, so I am going to further explain what I mean in this post to express what I meant!

A no is progress. Of course, I mean this mostly in regards to the arts, mostly because that is where a majority of my experience is.

While I was pitching my book to publishing agents, I loved getting rejection letters. It let me know that they actually took the time to consider my work, and that they just felt like it was not worth their time. It is easy to forget when you are entrenched in a work you have created to remember that agents (both literary and music) make their money being able to sell your work to a bigger label. So, yes: you may have done something amazing for you. You might even have friends and family who think what you have done is amazing; but if the agent cannot sell it, they are going to pass. This doesn’t mean that the work is bad, it just means that the audience doesn’t exist, or the timing is off.

Hell, we all have seen pieces of art that we think are horrible. There are number one singles in the spotlight that we know we could do better than, or books that are boring. There are actors that are just fucking terrible, podcasts that are petty, and blogs (like this one) that are a mess narratively. The only reason they exist is because someone heard the ‘no’ and said ‘MEH’.

When it comes to the arts, it truly is a timing and arrogance game. Luck plays an unfortunately large percent of how things go. I say arrogance because you cannot give up, even if you are feeling like things are too hard. If you have an end goal of making money doing the arts, and your enjoyment is being hampered by your inability to do, the choice has to be made: is the ‘no’ too taxing on your continued enjoyment of the journey?

Naked ‘n’ Exposed

I have been spending a majority of my morning applying, again, to Literary Agents.

It is a very small niche in the greater “agent” circle. I have more connection with reps in the music industry which, most of my musician friends will point out, are impossible to get contact with. Yet, somehow, I have steady (if not friendly) contact with at least 6 or 7 A&R reps. but no Literary Agents.

Also, interesting to probably only me: most Literary Agents are much older. That is not a bad thing, but it does speak to how difficult that world is to survive in. I have lost the video to time, but I watched this “day-in-the-life”-eque video. Apparently, or in this case anyway, Literary Agents make roughly 10% signing bonus for every successful sales pitch they make to a publisher? I found that incredibly humbling, and it also explained better in one stat why there are not more agents out there. There is no bloody money in it, and one agent could be stuck reading for days to just decide that person is not worth pursuing.

I’m already jaded due to years in the music industry to the idea of middle-men. Positions that simply exist to funnel the masses away from the big-wigs to “save time”. I understand the allure, but this kind of structure leads to nepotism and gatekeeping in the worst way.

I am starting to see the appeal in Vanity labels. If I was not so horrible at marketing, I would stay independent.

The ironic thing is that this post is me admitting that I need help looking for a literary agent. I mostly want to talk, but I can bring great things to the table!*

*might be a collection of uncooked meat.