Pursuing the Writing Dream
[Guest post by Amanda Luedeke – Meet my literary agent! She is not only talented but a fellow millennial. I am so excited to not only introduce you to her, but her new book The Extroverted Writer. If you are needing marketing/platform help, this eBook is for you. Leave a comment below to win a free copy.]
When people find out I’m a literary agent, they almost always tell me about a book idea they have.
I work with authors to sell their books to publishing houses. If it’s not a book idea, it’s a manuscript they’re working on–or the story idea that just won’t leave them alone.
This happens so much that many in the publishing business will joke,
“Everyone has a book inside them.”
While many may talk about their book ideas or publishing aspirations, few are actually doing anything about them.
It’s the dream that easily gets eaten by life and kids and spouses and commitments and, yes, television and movies and all of those forms of entertainment that soak up our time.
But I say it’s time to put an end to the cycle.
It’s time to pursue that story idea or nonfiction book or personal memoir you’ve been dying to write.
And for those of you who have written, but are sitting on your manuscript, keeping it locked away, it’s time to show it to friends, family, and maybe even some industry professionals. It’s time to get it looked at in case the words help others. In case you’re sitting on something that God wants to use.
And for those of you who have written and are trying to make a go at publishing, it’s time to get serious about pursuing the writing dream.
It’s time to make this a priority.
It’s time to listen to that voice inside that is telling you to go for it.
I’m 29 years old—fairly young for a literary agent. My story of following my writing dream goes something like this…
I’ve always liked to write. So despite disapproving looks from some of my elders, I pursued it in college and graduated with a BA in Professional Writing. Most with this kind of degree don’t do much with it. They end up working in banks or insurance offices or for lawyers. Shortly after college, I wasn’t much different. I waitressed for a year and a half while I desperately searched for a “real” job.
During this time I felt God calling me to be an admissions counselor. So, for that year and a half, I applied to every such opening I stumbled upon, and eventually, I was hired at my alma mater.
I loved being an admissions counselor, so when the school closed nine months after I took the job, I felt lost and confused.
How could God put such a desire in my heart only to take it away?
It just so happened that during those few months on the job, I met Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary, who was working at the school as a visiting professor. After the school closed, I took a job at a local marketing firm, but I also began to do work for Chip.For the next three years, I maintained my full time marketing job while also working part time for Chip.
And in fall of 2011, I went full time as an agent.
The funny thing is that being an agent is very similar to being an admissions counselor. Except now I work with books and authors instead of students and their parents. And what’s even better is my writing degree–that little degree that had felt like a hobby–is being put to good use.
I followed my heart. I followed my love for writing and then my passion for admissions.
I did what I felt God wanted me to do. And now I’m privileged to work as an agent in an art industry that I love.
I want to challenge you to follow your dream—follow that desire that God has placed on your life.
And if that desire involves getting your author career going (whether you’re planning to epublish, self-publish, or traditionally publish), maybe I can give you a head start.
I wrote a book about building an author platform. As I said before, my background is in marketing, and so I love helping writers think through brand-building and promotions and all that good stuff. I love it because it’s the nuts and bolts behind whether a book and an author career will be a success. It’s the one controllable element amidst a bunch of randomness.
For anyone ready to take that next step in their publishing career, I’m giving away one free copy of my book, The Extroverted Writer: An Author’s Guide to Marketing and Building a Platform. This book is for the published and unpublished…pro’s and newbies alike. In it, I talk about author websites and blogs and Facebook and Twitter and other devices that can be used to build a platform and get noticed.
To enter to win, simply leave a comment below, telling a bit about how YOU plan to take the next step toward your writing dream.
A winner will be chosen at random on April 19.
The book will be gifted in the form of a Smashwords download coupon.
Amanda Luedeke is a literary agent with MacGregor Literary. Every Thursday, she posts about growing your author platform. You can follow her on Twitter @amandaluedeke or join her Facebook group to stay current with her wheelings and dealings as an agent. Her author marketing book, The Extroverted Writer, is available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.