When you’re awake at 2am

Aug 10, 2009 | Personal

Damn insomnia.

Well, it happens sometimes. Can’t be helped, really. I just can’t sleep, and it usually takes an hour or two of blog-reading to get me down for the night. It always happens when I have work in the morning, which is all kinds of annoying.

At least I’m spending the time productively tonight! My touch typing is getting better. It seems to be that I can really only do it properly when I don’t think about it, like many things in life. And I’ve been browsing through some more literary blogs – most notably Janet Reid’s blog.

For the uninformed or just plain lazy – Ms. Reid is a literary agent, one of those fine individuals whose job it is to take a manuscript from an author, perform some arcane and highly secretive rituals (involving an octopus in some way, it’s not entirely clear) and deliver unto them a publishing contract in return. I’ve been directed to several other informative blogs through hers, which is delightful.

She stands out, though. Possibly it’s because she really communicates with writers – what agent would risk their sanity by trying to answer EVERY query they get? And she gets hundreds every day, many of which are so far off the mark they might as well be on another planet! But she’s committed to it, even so far as to have a second blog, QueryShark, where she takes query letters and posts them along with critiques. Amazing.

I’ve read page after page of her blog, learning as much as I can. The one lesson I keep taking away from it is: I have to keep working. I’m looking at the Novel, and I know I can make it better, but by all the gods I will make it shine like a second sun before I even think of querying an agent as awesome as Janet Reid. And I will have a marketing plan, goddamnit.

I mean, she’s flat out telling us how to be better writers and how to get her attention with our manuscripts. How rude would it be to ignore all that?