Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Want to chat with an agent?

Well, I'd assume you do. Especially if you read this blog.

MediaBistro's GalleyCat blog has a must-read post about the "overlooked art of agent research":

Hundreds of aspiring writers would sell their left arm for a chance to chat with an agent. Unfortunately, most writers end up telling the wrong agent the wrong things. Without some crucial research, these writers will always end up in the rejection pile.

Earlier this week, author David Henry Sterry taught a room full of writers how to research agents at the Strand Bookstore. GalleyCat boiled down his agent intelligence into this short and practical primer on the fine art of agent research.

Click here to see the video.

How Long Do You Write For?

In theory, writing every day is the best possible way to consistently improve and produce pages. I disagreed with this until I actually began doing it, and with the exception of a few weeks off in between projects, I now try to write for at least one hour every day. (I believe it was Stephen King who says that most writers only have one good hour in them a day.)

I spent the weekend in Boston visiting a friend and knew that I was going to be less than productive. So, I took yesterday off from work and dedicated the whole day to re-writes. I wrote solidly for more than my usual hour before taking a break. When I returned to my computer, I figure I probably put in another good hour and a half before that dastardly writing villain The Internet (a subject of much debate here recently) landed a debilitating blow. After some down time that involved dinner and the premier of How I Met Your Mother, it was back to the computer.

I was weaker than I thought from The Internet's earlier assault, and after about 20 minutes, I lost Round 3 for good. I couldn't help but feel as though I'd come up short - not everything I wanted to accomplish had been done. Yet, I had to remind myself that I'd written for nearly 3 and a half hours all told by the end of the night. Not too shabby.

So, I got to thinking. I usually write for an hour a day. Some people write from sun-up to sun-down. Some people have a page goal. How long do you write for each day?