Welp, it’s official… I have a literary AGENT!? Meaning someone, other than my mom, dad, grandma, or dog, is telling me that they believe in me!! Yes, a stranger. Someone I have never met in person before, is telling me they believe in me. Which is… totally and entirely terrifying!!! Why?! Because that means, I might actually have to go through with this whole publishing thing.
“Well, that’s kind of the point, isn’t it?”
Yes, smart ass. But somehow, the closer you get – the scarier it becomes. The more real it becomes. Especially in my case – when you’re writing a story about your own experiences and are literally telling the world you’re trying to make an impact on it by telling your story. Lol, what a nerd!! The vulnerability kills me sometimes.
Just kidding, I’m actually more excited than ever!! Once a dream, dreamt up on an island somewhere in Indonesia, is now starting to become a reality.
So what exactly does it mean? To have an “agent”? And how did I get one? Good questions… this is my first time too! To secure an agent… I sent out A LOT of query letters with basically the sales pitch of my book. Something along the lines of,
“Faced with an autoimmune disease and a decision to follow the “cookie-cutter” way of life or forage her own path after graduating from college, recent college-graduate decides to travel by herself for a year in search of healing herself from a chronic autoimmune disease and a life that felt meaningful. With so much corruption happening in the world and her own body, Danielle knew she couldn’t just sit back with a “normal” corporate job and let life pass her by.”
… but longer and more detailed. I received a decent amount of rejections, but also some requests for the full manuscript (definitely less than I did rejections). Finding an agent can be described a lot like dating – you’re trying to find the right match. I got a lot of, “It’s not right for me at this time” or “I’m not looking to take on another project at this time” or “get lost, child” responses (jk about the last one), but finally a response with an “offer for representation”. !!! So then I signed a contract and here we are.
This means that someone, that stranger I mentioned (Terrie), is actually working for me to find a publisher. She doesn’t get paid until I get paid. So hopefully, she finds a publisher… something incredibly hard in this competitive market when you’re a “no-one” aka ME. There’s a huge IF she finds a publisher here too. (Fingers crossed – haha) But IF NOT, there’s always self publishing, a method gaining increasingly more attention these days because of all the hoops you have to go through when traditionally publishing, not to mention the time it saves. Apparently, when and IF she finds a publisher, from that moment it will still take AT LEAST another year (or 18 months) for the book to be out in print! Like what!?! I had no idea this would take so long when I set out to write a book. Is this what I signed up for!? That’s insane! But I guess, all good things take time.
I would opt to self publish NOW, but am having a hard time mustering up the courage and “fire in the belly” for it. It would be a lot of work and “fear-conquering” to market myself (not that I won’t have to for the traditional method too) but also put in the effort that I’m not sure I’m entirely ready for. There’s something nice about having someone else on my side to do the work for me. It’s like I don’t have to be my own cheerleader anymore. It’s hard to be your own cheerleader all of the time – to be constantly believing in yourself when pretty much all odds are against you. This way, there’s someone else rooting for me. 🙂
Having someone else work for me, also means I can spend more time focusing on teaching yoga and (hopefully) growing my yoga classes. She can be shopping my book, and in the mean time, I’ll be teaching yoga/ doing yoga, working at Lululemon, and nannying a bit… basically perfecting that MILF LYFE.
The last thing I want to say about this whole thing is, even if I don’t end up publishing, that will be completely fine! The truth is, I feel like an entirely different person for even trying. I felt like an entirely different person after traveling by myself, and now even more changed after writing it out! I know myself and how my mind and body work more than ever before. This life thing, is partially about discovering who we are, and living a life true to that. So regardless of the outcome, I’m still coming out on top. It doesn’t necessarily matter as long as I feel like I’m learning and growing along the way.
It’s funny – the physical “journey” of traveling has been over for quite some time now, but somehow I feel like the journey of attempting to live out my life’s purpose has only just begun.