Title (Optional)

Today’s my cutoff day to bring you a new post, because I promised myself that I would write here no less than once a week, and today’s my self-imposed deadline, and it’s only now that I’m realizing the trouble with this entire perpetual weekly deadline concept is that while sometimes it works out, sometimes you just stare at your computer and type “Crappo crap crappety crap crap crap,” because you’ve just deleted your last nine bad ideas and nothing seems like the right thing to write about when you’re hungry and you’re busy and your hair is not looking so great today and you got a parking ticket the other day that was kind of totally your fault but maybe you’ll try to contest it (GAHHH I HOPE NONE OF YOU WORK FOR THE PHILADELPHIA PARKING AUTHORITY) and the “Title (Optional)” field in the blog post is just taunting you because honestly, titling your blog posts really ISN’T optional, in my humble opinion, so you sit and you try and come up with something reasonably cogent to share with the world before you’re late for your book group that you just barely managed to finish the book for and OH CRAP i’m definitely late AND I forgot to pick up wine CRAP CRAP CRAP.

And then you start to wonder if you’re actually really a writer at all or just some delayed adolescent human body with troll hair, pounding on your laptop keys like those monkeys in the David Ives play, and just as you’re in this horrible spiral of doubt and self-deprecation you remember that you just signed with a literary agent who apparently thinks you’re better at selecting words and placing them together in various ways than other people, so maybe everything in the world isn’t the total fucking worst.

(Her name is Beth. I really like her. I traveled to Brooklyn to meet her this weekend and made the mistake of ordering a sandwich on a massive baguette at a Very Important Business Meeting and tried to explain that a) I wasn’t really sure what a literary agent does, exactly, or b) I wasn’t totally sure that she was the right agent for me, but she answered my questions really well while I was attempting to unhinge my jaw like a snake as russian dressing dribbled onto my sweater, so I guess if she could walk away from that still thinking I was someone who could feasibly write a book, I suppose I can try to imagine that I am feasibly someone who can write a book).

So yeah. That’s kind of cool. I have an agent, and she thinks I can write a book, so I guess I’m going to write a book. I don’t know what it’s going to be about just yet. But I’m going to write a book.

(Check in with me on that in like a year, ok? Because I’m SUPER late for this book club.)


(Is it really lame that I took a picture of the paperwork on a table with an empty latte mug in the background? Yeah. That’s probably super lame. Sorry. I’m just excited).

Edit: For point of clarification, mostly because I didn’t know this either before I sat down with this agent — (aka: hold the champagne toast, ya’ll….)

An agent and a book deal are two very different things. A book deal means you’ve written a book (or a book proposal), and a publisher is like, “Sweet! Let’s make physical copies of this and distribute it to bookstores and Amazon! You can write words and we will print them on paper, and we will pay you some money!”

An agent is basically saying, “Hey! I think you COULD write a book! You should do that! I will help you with the proposal, and then I will tell publishers about how awesome it is and sell them on you and your book! I am a terrific resource who wants to see you do well, and wants to sell your work to people who can pay you, and, by extension, me!”

So while this is a big deal and I’m really excited about it, it’s not the same as saying “I’ll have something for you to buy on Amazon in three months!” I’m saying “I need some time to figure out what to write about, and I have someone who believes in me who wants to help me get there. It might never sell because publishers aren’t interested, and that would suck, but I would be okay. I’m just excited that someone who reads books for a living thinks that I have what it takes to write one, and wants to help me on that journey.”

So by all means, let’s pop some champagne! ….. to celebrate this step in the process, before the real work starts.

35 thoughts on “Title (Optional)

  1. Normally I’d find this funny but… something just strikes me as off about this. If you wanted to do a post letting us know that you’ve signed a book deal, that’s great! Tell us that. But to mosey about it in an indirect way because you’re not comfortable with sharing your success… idk. I’m happy for you; you should be happy for yourself, too.

    • That’s fair. I think I’m being a super weirdo about it because it’s not actually a book deal, just an agent who is going to work with me to write a book proposal, and the thought of writing the book is super intimidating (and exciting!!) but also, super intimidating. It’s far from a book deal, just a step in the right direction. But thanks! I’m glad you’re happy for me, and I’m going to work on being happy for me, too. 🙂


  2. It is risky to get excited about something you really want. Then you have it out there along with the possibility of it not happening. Remember It is equally possible that it will. So, in my opinion, be scared, be excited, be cautious and throw caution to the wind — it’s all good. Just keep moving forward!! Good Luck

  3. Ah!, I can’t help it. I don’t know you, K, but I gotta interject here. I don’t usually read the comments sections on blogs, but I am seriously procrastinating avoiding my own work. I gotta nip this in the bud, @literaryvittles: You may have good intentions, but no!

    K, whatever you do, don’t jump on the positive-thinking bus. Its really boring there. Well-adjusted, confident people tend not to make great storytellers. I like that you exposed the whole process of the book deal, or the literary agent experience. You’re not a weirdo. I am possibly the weirdo jumping on here dropping this comment to protect the artistic process of a relative stranger. Whatever, I don’t care. You’re on to something. Keep writing whatever the hell you want.

    • Jessica – YES! THANK YOU! I was getting mama bear syndrome over here.

      K is excited, and with that comes nerves. This blog is a platform for her to express how she is feeling. No one should knock how she feels! If anything, it’s extremely refreshing to hear someone honestly talk about this process.

      You go, K – Love you so much.

    • Yeah, I gotta get on this train too. I’m sure Literaryvittles has good intentions but if someone has news I think its fair that we let them tell us in their own way. And, when you present something be it writing, a painting, a dance… whatever, its scary as shit. If someone is nervous about something this big, let them be nervous. Shit, let them be human. Ok, short rant over. And… sorry if my grammar sucks.

      • Whoa guys! I’m sorry that my comment upset you. I get why K is nervous about this whole thing. If the same thing happened to me (which it won’t!) I’d have a heart attack. I guess for some reason the announcement came across as not-quite-genuine, but I sympathize with K because it’s hard to announce something like this without sounding like you’re bragging, and I feel like she kind of went in the opposite direction to avoid sounding like that… I guess my point was more, if she’s excited, then she shouldn’t be afraid to show it cuz this is awesome news! Anyway. I’ll read the book regardless, and it’s great to see that K has so many folks who will come to her defense because yeah, her writing is fantastic 🙂

  4. First of all, I cannot BEGIN to comprehend why anyone would request a meeting with you, let alone sign you to a creative contract. The aggressively twee way you go about working that information into this otherwise vapid post speaks to the overall inanity of your work here. My mother insists on posting these things and asks if I read them (so I occasionally do), but I am done reading, and I am done suffering in silence. I would wish you good luck, but the only way you could ever hope to become a true writer would be to be born again as unlike yourself as possible. OUT!

  5. So you’re human. Your creative magic sauce doesn’t get turned on by a deadline. If anything, the deadline is a turn off. Then, when you least expect it, the sauce shows up – and it’s boiling. That obviously happens to you a lot, which is why the agent came calling. And it’s why we, your fans, your future book buyers, keep coming back. We’re pulling for you and the occasional post that’s “off” doesn’t detract from all the good work. Congratulations!

  6. I haven’t even finished reading this post yet BUT YOU SIGNED WITH A LITERARY AGENT AND HOLY FUCK I’M SO FUCKING EXCITED FOR YOU and also maybe a little bit insanely jealous but mostly just really fucking excited and trying to contain it all instead of jumping around my boyfriend’s dorm room and killing everything on the floor by accident because I’m totally not going to be careful about where I’m jumping for joy when I’m jumping that ecstatically. :p

    But anyhoo. Back to reading the rest of the article. OHMYGOD I’M SO EXCITED FOR YOU. Okay. Breathe. Reading article.

    And then homework. Yes, definitely that homework that I’m totally not procrastinating on because fuck improperly structured biogeo homework when there are excellent blog posts to read and I’d rather be writing anyway and HOLY FUCK YOU GOT AN AGENT! AND…

    yeah, this might go on for a while… 😉

  7. Pingback: Title (Optional) | The Quill

  8. It encourages me that others look at a blank screen (scream?) and hit the delete key as much as any letter key. Creativity isn’t a tap! But I loved your rambling imagery. And I’m excited for your success. 🙂

  9. Incredible.
    How in the world does a writer get an agent BEFORE they write the book? Do you even know how special and unusual this is?
    The majority of writers write the book (then the next, and the next, then revised a couple of dozen times), then cold-query agents only to be rejected, feel dejected, and sometimes be completely ignored by agents who are too busy to even respond. It is SO hard to break through. And you get to skip all of that. Lucky lucky lucky.
    I am equal parts jealous and proud of you.
    Having never done it, I wonder how writing a book on demand will be different from the process of writing a book because you simply can’t stop writing it. I look forward to your posts about your writing journey. Good luck!

  10. Am sooo excited and happy for you, brilliant. Would pre-order on Amazon if I could right now. What I hate/love about the creative process is when you push and push and push to try and make things happen, roll around in the depths of despair thinking that you’ll never have an idea EVER again, and then POW the light bulb goes on and your’e off and running . However when in the mire of despair I always forget thats part of the process.
    The image of you trying to eat the sandwich, will stay with me forever (in a good way).

  11. I love love love your blog. 🙂 I posted on Facebook, recently, that your blog is what my blog wishes it was. XD I love your style and attitude and thinking process. Everything you write is pretty great and fun to read, even when I initially think I’m not interested in the subject. 🙂

    Yay, book agent! 😀 That is really cool and inspiring.

  12. I would buy whatever book you choose to write. Just so you know. A complete stranger wants to buy your nebulous future book. POUR THE CHAMPAGNE, LADY! 🙂

  13. A friend of mine spent two years looking for an agent. He was incredibly frustrated and bent out of shape by the time he just decided to self publish his novel and move on. Getting an agent that’s reputable is a HUGE step. Congrats!

  14. Ok, that’s cool.
    Now shit’s starting to get real though…😏

    Also, sandwiches are a gift from god, never regret them.

    (P.S. I can’t wait for the day that I can say, “I used to read her when…”)

  15. This totally reminds me of the episode of girls where the agent (?) says to Hannah, “I want you to write an E-book” and she says, “An E-book?!” and then as they part, he leaves and she pukes in a trash can outside of the coffee shop. I agree, getting a literary agent who believes in you before you even show her a book is a huge deal. Give yourself credit. I also support your wanting to be super weird about it because sometimes good news (or news we think is good but we’re not quite sure) freaks all of us out. In other words, congratulations.

  16. Congrats! I know someone who works at the Bent Agency. That’s the real deal, right there. They certainly wouldn’t court you if they thought you suck!!

  17. A little late to write a reply. I’d buy your book. Please, pleeeaaasssee keep this blog alive. I’ve been reading your posts backwards, most recent to later, and I feel the need to say thank you.

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