My Literary Agent: 
She Wasn't Coming

by Ellen Frank

Three years ago I moved to the Sunshine Coast: new place, new life, and once again an opportunity to re-invent myself. 

For the last number of years, life in general, and living with a chronic illness that keeps compromising my mobility in specific, sent me in the direction of wanting to re-invent myself as a writer. 

How, at age 49, I decided I needed to re-invent as a writer is a long story, but I needed to. 

One large obstacle for me in Vancouver had been that many in my circle of friends were “real writers.” I, at almost 50, was just a baby writer with no self-confidence in this persona at all.

Ah, but when I moved here I was free to re-invent. I was a woman with a disability and I was a wanna-be writer, and like all writers, I knew that I just needed the right things to instantly succeed. I needed a nice view out my window and I needed a literary agent to believe in my work and voilá, I would be a writer. 

Enter the Sunshine Coast School of Writing! I moved in here in October and in early November I was sitting in my first writing course, “Getting your book published in Canada” with Andreas Schroeder. There I was in a course 9AM to 4PM and in roomful of writers. 

Andreas covered lots and lots of important things during that day [I still have the notes.] but at 4PM I went home with one crucial piece of information… 

She wasn't coming.
My literary agent… 

The one who was going to see my writing and be so impressed that she would move in with me, or next door to me, encourage me every day, bring me coffee and then send my work out to the appropriate places. That evening I knew: she wasn't coming. 

I was momentarily crushed. What was I to do? At bedtime, when I was brushing my teeth, it came to me. I looked up and said, “Oh look, meet your literary agent. She has arrived now.”

Three years later, I encourage myself almost daily. I bring myself coffee and I occasionally send work out to appropriate places. I am not the best literary agent yet, but I no longer think of myself as a wanna-be writer. If you ask me what I “do,” I'll sometimes answer, “I am a writer.”

©2005 Ellen Frank Used by permission.

Audrey's Comments

Of course as a self-publishing writer, you probably aren't waiting for a literary agent. But you might be waiting for someone else to come along. Like Ellen, take a look in the mirror and find the answer to your need. You are a writer, too.

Although you don't need a literary agent, you do need editing services. Return to the home page to see which ones meet your needs.

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