Writer’s Weekend was too dense an experience to relate. However:
This last year I have been doubting the worth of my pursuing my writing. Not my need to do so, but the worth to others of my doing so. I had someone interested in reading it, but I had spoken to him, and chatted and…I can be somewhat charming.
I found that I believed, somewhere deep where I don’t look, that my writing and ideas have no merit, that I had merely used my super-power of Charming Mind Control to get someone to like me well enough to want to look at my book.
Okay. We’re all broken and stupid in places. This would be one of mine.
I pitched my book to another agent this weekend, whom I’ll call Ian. Ian did not smile warmly at me. He did not seem to enjoy talking to me. He was not entranced by my winning smile and clever speech. Worse, I was at my lowest ebb, stuttering, telling things out of sequence, stalling out and ruining my pace…I even forgot my book’s name, as well as the protagonist’s.
First he explained that he was a small house on purpose; he could be picky as hell, and he was, and get away with it. He selected only what he felt had genuine merit, not merely what would sell, and he liked it that way.
He’d like to see the first three chapters and a synopsis at my earliest convenience.
I did that without my charm.
Okay, the idea has merit. I know my writing frequently does. I can feel my self-doubt (Imposter’s Syndrome) melting away. Good.
I’ve an editor who asked for the same thing, and I’m pretty certain I failed to charm her, as well.