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Murphy’s Law of Agenting

#1: Your rejection letter is sent the day the author’s email either requesting an update or letting you know of an offer arrives in your inbox (this was more common with snail mail queries).

#2: The phone call you’ve been waiting for all day comes when you’re on the phone with the only other call you’ve gotten all day.

#3: The editor is so interested in the submission you sent that she just bought something similar the week before and now can’t buy yours.

#4: The blog you wrote and scheduled a month ago about a touchy situation between agent and client posts the day after you had a very similar touchy situation with a client, leading her to believe the blog was about her.

#5: The dog sleeps peacefully all day at your feet until the exact moment an editor calls with an offer, at which point he decides to start barking maniacally at a random leaf floating by the window.


Category: Blog



  1. Your children are angels all day long until you receive that important phone call you've been waiting for then they are crying, screaming, bleeding and undressing themselves.

  2. Murphy’s Law of Writing

    #1: The day you send your ‘I can’t believe I got it so perfect query’ to your dream agent, is the same day you receive a rejection from that same agent as a result of a crap query you don’t remember sending.

    #2: The day you decide to send your ‘I can’t believe I got it so perfect query’ to your dream agent is the day he/she decides to be closed to queries until the next, millennium.

    #3: The day you are to receive the message that YES your dream agent wants you as his/her dream client is the day your computer crashes, your car is totaled, you’re in traction and/or your fourteen year old tells you she’s pregnant, the dog runs away and you smell smoke.

  3. Precious kitten is sleeping peacefully in the corner. Your computer dings with an email from the agent you're hoping will offer you representation. The kitten then walks across your computer deleting said email.

  4. I'm generally a lurker on this blog but just had to say how much I appreciated the reminder that these types of things happen to everyone. It helps keep things in perspective.

  5. Jessica – laughing at all your bullet points. For me, the phone rings when I'm in the bathroom and I've left it on the counter in the kitchen.

    And LOL @ S.P. Bowers – Yup, that's me too.

  6. You finally find time to write when your kids start screaming/fighting/throwing things/getting into the pantry/stripping/having potty accidents/or are simply just waking from their naps.

  7. LOL! My three dogs see imaginary bunnies when my agent or editor call. They bark hysterically in three different pitches. And when I walk away so I can hear — they follow me!

  8. Number 5 is a constant with me. Doesn't have to be an agent call–though I wish one of those would come!!

    My house is quiet all day. If I ever get on the phone, the three pups have no clue I'm not talking to them…and raise the dickens. — RMW

  9. LOL. Love these – especially the dog one as my 8-month old puppy seems to feel it's her duty to disrupt every single business call with her (extremely high pitched) barking. WHY?!?!?

    Murphy's Law #Whatever: Puppy sleeps peacefully all morning while you're on hold for Toshiba for 45 minutes re: your broken laptop that they just shipped back to you, still-broken. She decides she urgently needs to go outside…just as customer service answers, but you didn't think to bring the service order number with you, trusting that it'd be another 45-minutes before they answered.

  10. Murphy's Laws Of Authoring

    #1 – You have your best ideas at midnight, just as you drop off to sleep.

    #2 – Just when you're in the flow, your son comes into your room and tells you the joke he just made up.

    #3 – The time you've set aside, warned the family about and told everyone about is the exact same time the fuses in the house blow due to a sudden power surge in the grid.

    #4 – Murphy was an optimist

  11. Murphy's Law of Life, really. Everything will break right when you need it or get chaotic right when you don't (after being quiet and boring for hours before). Ahh, life!

    I am betting with myself that the day I send a query to one of my dream agents will be the day she leaves the business. I'll just have to avoid getting too attached to the idea and query widely.

  12. The day after you email a query to your 5 top pick agents is the day your email program decides it's a good time to resend everything it had sent the day before. Yeah, that really happened. So embarrassing. :-/

  13. This sounds totally accurate. It's how things happen. Also, you are late for an appointment and a surprise pedestrian decides to walk slowly in front of your car oh, every two minutes or less.

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