Wednesday, February 1, 2012

When Things Don't Work Out

I wasn't going to write this post. I've kept putting it off and thought maybe I'll write it in a year from now when everything settles down. But it keeps nagging me and if someone is going through the same thing as me, maybe they'll find this helpful. Or feel better that they aren't alone.

Last week I parted ways with my agent. He's been my agent for a year now and although I will always respect him and think he's very capable and SO nice, he wasn't right for me or my books. Now, some of you might be thinking, "Are you freaking kidding me? He's an agent!" I know that. He's actually a great agent. I've heard stories of clients trying to get their agent to e-mail them back for months and hear nothing. He was always great about that. We just didn't fit. I knew it wasn't right.

I've been sick about this for a while now. I knew I was going to part ways with him a long time ago, I just didn't want to do it. I wanted to wait and see what happened, but when you know something is right, you gotta do it. And I couldn't put if off any longer.

Now I'm back to square one. Do I regret being with that agent for a year? No. I learned a ton about myself, about my writing and about the industry. I don't regret it for a second. Do I wish things would have worked out? Sure. I know things will work out because of all this, but it's scary. And it's hard.

So now, I'm on the agent hunt again. I don't know when or if I'll ever get another one. I don't know if the book I'm querying will get picked up. I've had a lot of thoughts go through my head the past week or so. Should I just give up? Should I stop writing? Is this even worth it, now that I have to start over?

Yes. It is.

I enjoy writing. No, I LOVE it. And I'll keep going. Keep writing books and I know things will work out when it's the right time.

Thanks for listening. It's nice to get it all out there. I'm a very private person and don't talk about behind the scenes stuff a lot, but I had to say something. You are the most supportive people out there and I knew you'd understand. If any of you ever need anything, let me know. :)

45 comments:

Rebecca Kiel said...

Great job listening to your gut! It has to be right. The connection has to be there. You were brave to honor what you know to be right for you, your books, your audience, and yes, this agent too.

S.P. Bowers said...

I bet that's hard but it sounds like you know it's the right thing. Good luck. I know it will work out for you!

Cherie Reich said...

You did the right thing. Something was telling you it wasn't working, and that's okay. :)

Shallee said...

I wondered if that's what happened when I saw your post last week, and noticed the change in your bio. I'm so sorry, Chantele. :( I can't imagine how difficult it is to make that decision when you worked so hard to get there in the first place.

You're right though-- you learned and grew so much through all of that! And in the end, you made the tough decision that will be best for your career. Now you know you can make those tough calls, at least.

Good luck with going on the hunt again. You worked hard to get where you are today, and you're still working hard to get what you want and do what you love. You can do it!

Jessie Humphries said...

I am so glad you posted about this. I was so curious what you were alluding to last week, but didn't want to push you into telling me. I think this is way helpful for others to hear, especially me. The path to publication is not always paved with gold:) I love how at the end of you post, you asked again if there was anything you could do for us! You are ridiculously nice. And Karma will take care of you.

J. A. Bennett said...

Shannon Hale gave up her first agent and look where she is now. It is worth it, and I know you're a fighter! Keep at it, chin up!

Cynthia Lee said...

I'm sorry to hear that, Chantele. But it sounds as if you've learned a lot and that kind of learning is invaluable at any stage in your writing career.

You wouldn't be happy if you didn't write so write your heart out! (I think people should say "write your heart in." It makes more sense that way).

And I'm pretty certain you'll find another agent.

Miranda Hardy said...

Sometimes we have to go with that gut feeling. I'm sure you did the best thing for you both. Good luck on the hunt for a new agent.

Lisa Aldin said...

THANK YOU. I've been through this...TWICE. There are so many agents out there and it's hard to find the right one. Sara Gruen went through two agents before finding the right one for her. It's a-okay. Thanks for sharing. I've definitely been there. Currently on the hunt for the RIGHT agent. Not just any agent.

Meredith said...

Good for you for recognizing what wasn't working and acting on it. I know it will all turn out well in the end--I've got my fingers crossed for you!

Jennifer said...

This takes a lot of guts and good for you for acting on and trusting your instincts. Very brave. It's so easy to get comfortable and ignore things out of fear of what might happen. But you are a writer and have passion for it, so I am sure you will get another agent that suits you and your books! Best of luck and thanks for sharing.

Kelley said...

Wow, what a brave lady you are! Good for you!

The dream agent is just around the corner, ready to fight for you and your work :)

Madeline Jane said...

Aw, thanks for sharing! Everything happens for a reason, right? And this can only mean that better things are ahead. It's so inspiring that you're choosing to continue writing. I've gone through times where I felt like everything was pointless. I'm so glad you're going to keep on going. :)

Kelsey said...

I honestly believe everything is going to work out for you. You're such a good person, and even though there are bumps along the road, you WILL reach your goals. Like another commenter said, karma always comes back ;)

Kate said...

I bet this sort of thing happens all the time, but most writers probably feel ashamed, or that it somehow reflects poorly on them and so they don't talk about it. I'm very impressed that you chose to share this experience. I'm sure it's just one more stop along the path and you'll get snatched up by another agent soon enough. Best of luck to you!

Patti said...

So sorry to hear that. But it sounds like you've done a lot of soul searching and come to the decision that's right for you. I know a few people who have done this and it's worked out for them.

Good luck with your searching.

Amanda Olivieri said...

Ah, I had a feeling it would be something like this when you alluded to it last week. Breakups are always tough, but it is WONDERFUL that you were able to realize what you needed, and do what needed to be done. And it is still SO worth it! Good luck, and I hope you find an agent that is a perfect fit for you!

Emily R. King said...

You have to do what's right for you, Chantele. Writing is very much a personal journey. You can't expect to follow anyone else's because you're unique. I'm glad you've made a decision you feel good about. Don't lose hope or faith in yourself as a writer. You DO have what it takes.

Stacy Henrie said...

What a tough situation - but kudos to you for being brave and doing what you felt was right! I'm glad you're not quitting.

Ruth Josse said...

I know you will do amazing things, Chantele! Hugs!

Sari Webb said...

Hi Chantelle, I'm sorry to hear that things didn't work out for you, but happy for you that you've been able to make the hard decision and move forward. Good luck in the agent search!

Melanie Fowler said...

You always have to do what feels best. Love ya no matter what!

Tasha Seegmiller said...

So impressed with you for trusting your instincts, even when it was a difficult thing to do. It will work out and you are still amazing!

Karen lee Hallam said...

Thanks for sharing!
It's especially comforting, for when I find myself down unchartered paths. which is now and probably always. thank you.

Steph Sinkhorn said...

I'm sorry to hear this. This is always a really tough position to be in. But you'll press on and do well, I'm sure of it. Best of luck to you for the future!

Angela Brown said...

If the agent is not the right fit for you, you have to make the tough decisions. Sounds like you've done the hard part. Now to start over and make it happen again, this time with an agent that will be a better fit for you.

I know you can do it :-)

erica and christy said...

I can tell from the post that you KNOW you did the right thing. The best of luck to you (and your books)!!
erica

Christine Rains said...

Sometimes doing the right thing is the hardest thing. You're brave to do so and I admire you for it. Good luck with your hunt! :)

The Writing Hour. said...

That's a really brave decision to make, good job on listening to your gut and doing what's best for you. Good luck with finding another agent, if you did it before I'm sure you're talented enough to get one again :)

Leigh Covington said...

It will totally work out Chan. Some decisions are hard, but you've got to be brave. :)

Jolene Perry said...

I am SO glad you had the courage to write this post.
I think it's so helpful for us to see that the road to being isn't easy.

I'm way excited to see what happens next for you!

Kadie Kinney said...

I'm so sorry things didn't work out for you, but I admire your courage to end it. That takes a lot of guts. It's scary to be back at square one, I'm sure, but you did it once! You can do it again! Good luck!

Melissa Sarno said...

I think it takes a lot of courage to walk away but when it's necessary, it's necessary. Recognizing that is so key. I can't wait to hear what comes next for you! :)

Chantele Sedgwick said...

Thank you guys. You are seriously the BEST!

Angela Cothran said...

Chan, I just want to give you a big hug! That had to be really hard to do. I've been thinking about you a lot lately--maybe that is why :)

Jenny S. Morris said...

I know it was a hard decision. I know you will find the right agent for you! You are such an amazing person and writer. Thank you for writing this post, I know it was hard as well.

I really can't wait to see what the future holds for you. HUGE cyber hugs.

The Desert Rocks said...

First of all Chantele--YOU NEVER GIVE UP. Sorry for the caps and I'm sure you're heard this stuff before, but I wanted to make sure you got the message. :) Hugs to you.

Amber Argyle, author said...

Been there. I broke up with my agent after a year. It was one of the hardest decisions I've ever made in my life. But I KNEW it needed to happen, and I don't regret the decision.

It took me another year, but I did finally get a book published. If you need to chat with someone who's been there, give me a call. Email me and I'll send you my #. amberargyle at yahoo dot com

catherinemjohnson.wordpress.com said...

That must have been really hard to do, hang in there.

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

This sounds kind of like what happened with Renee. I know things will work out for you if you keep your perspective in the right spot (which you're already doing, of course). I know, for me, that as my career has advanced and I've been surprised and disappointed and elated at the same time, that I've dug deeper into myself to find out what truly drives me and why I do any of this. What brings me happiness? The answers have been surprising and awesome. I wish you the best of luck. :)

Mark Koopmans said...

Hey,

Been there, done that and can still smell the roses...give it time....you good peep:)

Tracy said...

Thank you for putting this out there. Sometimes the whole querying game in general can be so frustrating you think you just need to FIND an agent...when it truth, it's always about finding the right agent for you...and being able to walk away when it's just not working.

Good luck going forward, chicky!

J.R. Johansson said...

I've seen a few good friends go through this now. In fact, I know far more writers who've been through more than one agent than ones who've found the right fit on the first go around. Hang in there, my friend. It'll all work out if you just keep trying.

Nicole said...

You have a great attitude about this, and thank you for sharing your experience - it's a great learning opportunity for the rest of us. I think you have to be true to yourself and your story. Best of luck in round 2!!

Melanie Jacobson said...

Wow, Chantele. That must have been so hard to do, but I think you're so smart to trust your gut. It's totally going to work out. For sure I think in not too long you'll look back with hindsight and see the perfect logic in how all of this is playing out.