Agent Hunt

Give The People What They Want, Man!

Or how being a writer is like being a door to door salesman. 

It seems I’ve been struggling lately with whether to write what I want or what the people want.

But you know what the conclusion is? I’m people too. I read books, watch TV, go to the movies. I make decisions about what to invest my time in. If I think a project is fun and interesting and it’s about people I’m crazy about, it’s totally and completely worth my time and worth writing.

Passion is important.

I’ve spent months…many months…too many months…obsessing and worrying and beating myself up because I can’t get anyone to read my story. It’s like I’m a salesman. I have this great project that I want to share with people, but they just shut the door in my face without even trying my product.

I understand both sides. I work retail. I’m a manager. People call ALL the time trying to sell me stuff. I ignore most of them, I do, for a number of reasons. We may not have space for that product. We may already have a product like their product. We simply don’t like the product. Or we assume we won’t like the product and because we’re busy, we pretend to listen, say we’re not interested, and move on. And let’s face it, a lot of people call us trying to sell us crap. But every once and a while a product will come along and it’s like, “Oh, that’s really cool,” or “Oh, it’s not wildly different, but I like it and I have space for that, so sure.”

So yeah…I get it. If I like the person or they’re super nice, I try to give them a reason why I’m passing. Unless the reason is that I simply don’t like it. Then I lie. But I would feel sick if I knew that my no to someone’s product made them quit. Hopefully, I’m not their only option. There are many retail stores and there are many agents.

I get it. If someone is trying to sell me face cream without giving me a sample, they’re crazy. Send me a sample! There are a lot of face creams out there. Why should I buy yours? But trying stuff takes time.

I get it. I’m not making the agent any money. My email or letter is clogging up their mailbox like that salesman’s face cream is adding clutter to my desk. But before their current client got published, that writer wasn’t making them any money either. We’re all working for free here. I work and slave and get nothing every single day and still have to get up the next morning and do it all over again, in addition to everything else I have to do, most of it stressful.

My point is: I’m through thinking I’m a crappy writer because people keep slamming doors in my face. I’m a really good writer. I know it and it’s okay for me to say it. 100+ doors slammed in my face doesn’t change that and 250+ doors won’t either. If that face cream is awesome. Someone will like it. And that salesperson should pimp it out until somebody picks it up. I refuse to let anyone make me think that my stories aren’t any good because they don’t want to read them. Not anymore.

Not everyone likes Harry Potter. I actually KNOW a couple of people who don’t! They’re missing out, but it’s true.

So yeah. I’m not giving the people what they want. I’m writing what I want. After all, I’m a reader, too.


  • Thea

    I hear you. Sometimes I'm tempted to throw in the towel on the stories I *want* to write, and just go write about slutty vampires and werewolves (as those seem to be hot these days). If I ever learn the secret to getting people to actually read what you write, I'll be sure to let you know!

  • krystal jane

    Exactly. ^_^ I see way too many people giving up and changing their writing or their music to something more traditionally mainstream even though they don't like it as much for the sake of making money. I figure, if I want to read it, there's gotta be someone else out there who wants to read it too. It may take longer, but I think it's worth it.

  • Diane Carlisle

    I wasn't about to subject myself to waiting for rejections to come. I self-published two short stories and have had almost 400 downloads between the two. Keep writing, and I'm glad you're not going to let anyone keep you down! 🙂

  • J.W. Alden

    If closed doors and rejection meant you were a crappy writer, then you could bestow that title onto some of the most successful and acclaimed writers of our time, from modern bestsellers like Stephen King and J.K. Rowling to classic authors like H.G. Wells, Herman Melville, and Ernest Hemingway. What they actually have in common is the will to pursue a vision in the face of failure and criticism.So, yes, keep at it. Write for you. 🙂

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