Secret Agenting

charlie's angelsSo, guess what? I was the “Secret Agent” on the Miss Snark’s First Victim blog last week! I was so flattered when I was asked to participate. I mean, have you seen the roster of Secret Agents that have participated?! Thank you, Authoress! And, if you haven’t read the Miss Snark blog, go do it now. Even though it hasn’t been updated in 8 years, it’s still up on the interwebs for all to read, learn from, cringe and laugh at. Totally worth it.

But enough about Miss Snark and Authoress… this is MY blog and well, if you haven’t figured it out yet, It’s all about ME! (Just kidding, dear readers, it’s all about you. No really. I mean it. It really is about you.)

images-1As I re-read the comments I made on the 50 (FIFTY!!!) entries to the contest, I really got that I don’t sugarcoat anything. I mean, I don’t want to sugarcoat it if I’m saying what needs to be said, but there’s also the part where I want people to like me. So, for the participants of the Secret Agent contest, for queriers who I’ve rejected yet given feedback to, to people at conferences who have received critiques from me, to my clients whose work is at the other end of my red pencil, I have this to say: It’s my commitment to drawing out the best work that’s in you that has me say the things I say. I feel it’s necessary that you know how your written words might be landing to an agent reading your work. It may be harsh to hear, but I’m more committed to helping you improve your writing than I am to making you feel good.

So, I certainly apologize if I’ve ever hurt anybody’s feelings by a critique. But now, put those feelings aside and get back to work. You’re a writer, after all. That’s what you do.

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “Secret Agenting

  1. Well, you were definitely one of most sugar-free Secret Agents I’ve had, but I think you cut to the chase without coming off like a villain. 🙂 Thanks again for your time and expertise! (And I hope good things come of it! Let me know!)

  2. Molly Yellin

    Hey there Linda / so good to hear that you were chosen to be a secret agent lady. Cool and maybe fun for you. You have arrived although you said you were experiencing personal growth. I just looked in my rear view mirror and I do know I too had growth. Some folks never reach for anything and some change a little every day..changing may be as uncomfortabe as a snake skin that is shed to be more than yesterday. BRAVO

  3. Your post has really got me thinking, Linda. Thinking that I must have grown-up, and continue to live, amongst such uber-critical people that I had no idea that you were ever being harsh!

  4. I’d rather have an agent who is honest and helps me improve than an agent who compliments everything and lets it slide.

  5. Think of it this way, the honesty an agent gives to a writer is a gift that helps that writer become better at their craft. You are a great gift giver!

    • Perhaps, but because I don’t always wrap up the gift very well, it’s not always so pleasurable to receive them. As someone who’s committed to my own personal growth though, I am actually working on it. Except for when I forget.

  6. Susan

    This is one of the top reasons I respect your work so much.

  7. This is great! Congrats for being a secret agent on Miss Snark-you rock
    Linda and why else would she pick you?
    Thank you for being you. You should never sugar coat it-how can we be rock
    Star writers if we don’t hear the bad stuff? What you tell us is right on. You are awesome at what you do and I thank you for that. Don’t change a thing!!

  8. I’m happy when I know that agents are being honest. Real feedback is priceless. Sometimes I worry about the other side of things–are they just requesting my manuscript to be nice? I certainly hope not!