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The Juggling Act of Being an Agent Blogger

As you’ve likely noticed, most of my blog posts are based on my own experiences as an agent. To successfully keep up this blog I’ve had to rely on my clients and other authors to supply me with material. Without them I wouldn’t have any experience as an agent. Well, except for the post I wrote on Agents Under Attack which worries me a little since it seems to be the most popular post to date, but I digress.

Using real life examples is a bit of a balancing act. The very last thing I ever want to do is offend or hurt anyone, especially a client, by exposing her in a blog. Even if no one knows who you’re writing about, feelings can be hurt and people can be made to feel vulnerable. Of course, the times when clients do feel a post is about them it usually isn’t.

I suppose this is similar to writing nonfiction. Successful nonfiction uses real life examples, whether you’re writing a memoir, self-help or a historical narrative. When writing these posts I never identify the author unless I have her permission. And even when posting examples of queries or other material I receive I usually modify it (rewrite) to hide any identifying characteristics. In other words, while the stories are true, the details tend to be fictionalized.

I can’t be more grateful for the bursts of inspiration authors give me, clients and otherwise, and I sincerely hope I never hurt anyone’s feelings with something I write.

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3 comments

  1. Gosh. Just trying to work out where I was when you wrote Agents Under Attack on the blog. I must have missed it somehow … but I’m gobsmacked! I guess everything’s been said so nothing more to add. Incredible. If I’d been on the receiving end of that diatribe I know I would have cried. I don’t care if that means I’m a wimp.
    The BookEnds blog is great because it’s informative and inclusive. It’s written in a warm and personal way, and I for one have been encouraged to keep writing and to submit work that meets only the most exacting standards. I don’t see this as discouragement or exclusion, rather it has helped me hone my craft and to persevere . I’ve learnt so much and I thank you for it

  2. I’m sure Agents Under Attack received so much attention because of the shock we all felt at a fellow writer’s actions.

    As Valentina said, the advice you offer is invaluable and I’m sure everyone recognises your intent to be helpful and guiding. After all, BookEnds wouldn’t have the stellar reputation it does if that’s how you treated your authors, industry peers and blog readers.

  3. Totally agree with Valentina. I only follow two agent blogs – yours and another that seemed interesting, but they haven’t posted in a while. I must admit I’m very selective, I don’t just follow agents’ blogs because I might’ve once queried them. It inspires me to keep engaged with great topics. I love talking books and writing, and this blog is a great place to be 🙂 So, if you ever find yourself wondering if it’s worth it to write a post a certain day, just know I’m out there waiting – probably glasses on the tip of my nose, researching some special term for a translation that makes my neurons snap, and needing a good excuse for a coffee break and a book-talk fix.

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