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.