OK, I may be painting a target on my ass, but here goes...

Every agent's blog or website or article that I come across seems to be geared toward knocking the wind out of a writer's sails. I find myself thinking dark thoughts about agents, and am interested in hearing peoples' experiences with them.


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I agree; both of your previous comments were correct. There are a lot of good writers out there still waiting for a break. (Maybe not a plethora, but definitely a surfeit.) There are also a lot of people who think they're writers and can barely string two coherent paragraphs together. The reputation of all self-published writers suffers because there's no way to weed out the latter.

I'm a little torn on the idea of good writers who can't edit well. A certain amount of editorial skill is implied in being a good writer. At some point anyone who wants to be considered a writer has to develop a minimal set of editorial chops if they want to be taken seriously.
It's easy to romanticize the old days, but plenty of writers went broke, went crazy and drank themselves to death back then, too. And I know lots of living writers who have actual, personal relationship with their agents/editors, for better or worse. I actually prefer a bit of professional distance--I want an agent, not a confidante. Also, because of my geographic distance from New York, I'd find it hard to function in a writing world that required a lot of physical face-time with agents and editors in order to make things happen. Not that I don't wish it were otherwise from time to time--it does help to be in New York, I think.


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