Dear Future Agent, I have a secret to share. It may shock you.
Then again, probably not.
See...(and this is kind of embarrassing to admit)...but (deep breath) I. Am. Not. Famous.
I'll give you a minute to digest that little piece of information. Because really, the Holy Crap factor was probably enough to knock the wind out of you. You know, while you laughed at me. So I understand if you need to compose yourself.
Right now, dear Future Agent, you are probably asking yourself why you should give a damn about me and my Regular Peeples status. Or not. After all, we haven't been formally introduced yet. Or perhaps we have and I just haven't quite convinced you yet. So in reality, you are probably busy cycling through your inbox while fending off off over-zealous writers with good intentions and big dreams who may have sent you cookies instead of a properly formatted query letter, wishing it was five o'clock so you can get home and pop the cork on a bottle of wine, skip the glass, and stick a bendy straw in there. You know, after you have served the kids dinner. (I'm going out on a limb here and guessing you will be a mom. And if you are doing that bendy straw thing, we are soooo a match made in heaven.)
But back to the me Not Being Famous and why you should care thing. You see, before I find you I have to be told to keep looking by others. "This is a subjective business..." "Other agents opinions may differ..." "What doesn't work for me may be perfect for another agent..." Oh wait. It's been three weeks and two days. Which means I can cross two more off my list. I know my query is solid (maybe). I know my writing has promise (right?). I know I will not be a word-diva when it comes to revisions (which I think is major bonus points, yes?) I could focus on the fact that I just got turned down again or I can remind myself that these two passive rejections are playing their karmic roles in getting me closer to the day I find you. But instead, I think I'll focus on the fact that my (solid) query is missing something. That my (promising) writing isn't even going to come into play for many of the agents who shall come before you because of that pesky little platform thing. And seeing as I don't really have one to stand on, why ask for more if I don't have enough to get me past Go to collect my Monopoly money?
You already know, dear Future Agent, that Non-fiction and Strong Platforms go hand in hand. That there is plenty of rhyme and reason for the current system. I get it, too. But I have to admit that the whole situation kind of has me in a pickle similar to the Gotta Have Credit to Get Credit situation I found myself in when I was young and stupid enough to jump on the first credit card offer that got me a free T-shirt on my college campus; I'm not famous enough to garner the attention of many agents looking for famous enough people to garner the attention of publishers looking for people famous enough to sell books. So they have (and will continue to) take a pass on me. No matter what they may think of my writing or my claims that my old job, this blog, and my twitter addiction could be considered a platform.
And that's okay. It sucks. But it's okay.
Because one day, you will take a chance on me. And I'll do that little happy dance every writer does when their own future finally slows down enough for them to grab hold. And then I can dream bigger and work harder (while trying to remedy that Not Being Famous thing while taking breaks from that working and writing thing, of course.) Until then, I'll continue to nurse my bruised ego, marvel at the fact that the girl who was so unsure of herself has grown into the woman who is sure enough to continue this soul-crushing exercise as long as it takes, and wait.
I may not be famous (enough) yet, but I'm stubborn as hell. Which means I'm not going to let my cute little platform (or lack thereof) get in my way.