Seth Godin‘s blog today gave me the last kick of courage I needed to do it! Press SEND on the email to my first potential agent! I am away from my home internet service, so the typeface wasn’t quite right. I cannot access my home phone to receive an instant reply. But I am in a beautiful place with the freedom, time and space to draft this version of my query letter. It is, actually, the reason for this working vacation, our “art camp.” I have been reading Seth’s book Linchpin at the suggestion of my friend Tom who IS a linchpin. A “linchpin” is “an individual who can walk into chaos and create order, someone who can invent, connect, create and make things happen.” Every worthwhile institution has indispensable people who make differences like these. Tom’s courage in searching for an agent for his book-and finding one- bolsters mine.
Godin also urges us to not only create, invent and choose to work without a map, but also to “SHIP” – that is, “hitting the publish button on your blog, showing a presentation to the sales team, answering the phone, selling the muffins, sending out your references.” “Shipping” is the collision between your work and the outside world.
In his blog today, he explains how most of us waste time on the small gap between being a novice at something and an expert. I’ll never become an expert at sending query letters if I don’t start SENDING them! And is that even my goal? No, I want an agent, not expertise on finding one.
“We diddle around in the novice stage because we’re afraid. We polish (but not too much) and go to meetings (plenty of them) and look for deniability, spending hours and hours instead of shipping. And the product, in the end, is not so much better.
I’m all for expertise. Experts, people who push through and make something stunning–we need more of them. But let’s be honest, if you’re not in the habit of being an expert, it’s unlikely your current mode of operation is going to change that any time soon.
Go, give a speech. Go, start a blog. Go, ship that thing that you’ve been hiding. Begin, begin, begin and then improve. Being a novice is way overrated.” Check out the whole blog.