June 3rd, 2008

books

thoughts on yesterday's poll

Okay.... y'all can stop voting now (unless you're doing it just for fun). I tend to be ridiculously ambitious on Mondays, and today's task list is naturally markedly different from yesterday's. Besides, when I got into my office this morning, there was no internet for me, so that definitely made an impact on what I could and couldn't do. It really slows a person down, doesn't it?

I'll admit that the whole poll was something of a social experiment to see what people might suggest when faced with the kinds of tasks I list out for myself every day. Given that so many writers seem to think that it takes far too long for agents to reply to submissions and queries, it was decidely interesting to me that non-client submissions got 0 (nada, nothing) votes and e-queries only got 1 (and I have a feeling from the comment that it was a bit tongue-in-cheek of a vote). So, what this says to me is that the writers out there who voted in this poll recognized the reality of triage as dictated by an agent balancing the needs of current clients against looking for potential new clients, but that the overall internet seems to reflect an opinion that agents are rude, self-aggrandizing slackers who don't care about new writers. Hmmm....

In any case, I, too, chose to prioritze the two pending contracts and will hopefully have negotiations resolved shortly. But that took just over two hours so more than half my afternoon was gone by that point, which means a lot of the other things on that list had to get shuffled around into other days this week.

Another thing that I found interesting in comments was how many people suggested delegating one task or another, which leads to the realization that people assume there is someone to delegate such things to. Lots of agents don't have a full-time assistants, and the interns at an agency tend to be shared, so sometimes one doesn't have the option to delegate. This is true of many agents of my acquaintance as most agencies tend to be small-to-medium-sized companies. And the turnover in junior agents is also pretty high.

And my BFF mentioned to me that it was quite nice that so many people suggested I have lunch because it's entirely possible if it hadn't gotten the second highest amount of votes (right after contract #1) that I might have skipped it. I'm just terrible about lunch.