Newsletter 08

The last time I wrote, I spoke about the power of God being made perfect in our weakness, and also about how when we turn to Him, we can find rest. Nearly three weeks have past since then, and to my surprise, some of you wonderful people out there are actually reading my blog. Thank you. I hope that if these updates find you in similar circumstances one day, that you will have the courage to turn to the Lord and rest in His peace.

At the end of August, I took a much-needed spiritual retreat, somewhere along the bluffs of the Mississippi, and spent a few days contemplating my first priority as a Catholic — the state of my soul, and my relationship with God. In the silence, apart from the distractions of modern technology, and surrounded by the physical beauty of God’s creation, came two realizations. One, that there is so much noise that it can be difficult to hear the whispers of God, and the endless stream of social media, emails, the news, etc. becomes like kindling feeding a fire, lapping at your soul hungrily, seeking to devour. But setting some time aside, for the quiet, was comparable to pouring water on that fire, and tamping it down, until the ash and the embers are all that’s left, and then, the soul can hear God much more clearly.

The second realization was that when we are willing to stop fighting (which it turns out, is quite tiring, after all), we can say, “I’m willing to get out of Your way now, Lord”, and in He sweeps in, and starts tidying up. And it never looks like how you think it might, but even amidst the uncertainty and the fear, is the quiet faith that whatever changes He makes, it is for your soul’s health. He is, after all, the Great Physician. And He knows exactly what it is you need.

So, as for me, I am gently learning to be patient in many things, especially as a junior literary agent. I believe there will be progress eventually. I believe that there will be growth. But I also believe that instead of running, I will walk, and the path forward will look different than what I planned. And that requires humility, openness, faith, and honesty, all traits that I try to present to you, the readers, here, and to others who I encounter. Instead of the the polished, professional, glamorous lifestyle that we writers associate with those big-time literary agents, what I’m offering in these posts are the messy beginnings of a novice, just trying to keep it real.

One of the biggest changes in these past few weeks, to address both my stress, exhaustion, and the need to approach this slowly, has been the decision to limit the time I am open to receiving new queries. At the risk of losing potentially interested authors who miss the query window, my hope is that the resting seasons will be productive periods: to evaluate full manuscripts I’m already considering, to catch up on the backlog of query letters and sample chapters from newer queries, and to work with any existing clients with where they are at in their careers. Because I really want to work with the right people, not just the right projects.

You see, ideally, a literary agent working full-time has something like 40-60 clients (or more). Before deciding to be an intern, I already had a full-time job (and still do). Working even part-time at a secondary job is more than I can jump into all at once. So I’m incredibly grateful for the understanding of my employer, and fellow agents, as well as everyone at my day job, for their support as I ease into something new and different, with a turtle’s pace, instead of a hare’s. And I thank all of you who have sent me queries since I began in April. It is such an honor to read your work and to get to know you better.

My prayer for you today is that you will keep pursuing all that God’s called you to, for His greater glory.

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