Monday, January 30, 2006

Speaking of Goals, Ambitions and Lofty Aspirations

You know how some people have a list of goals – long-term and short-term? Well, I’m not one of those. You know how some people have known what they wanted to do with their lives since they were young? Not one of those either. Nope, I’m the reason why there is a “Find Your Calling” section at Barnes & Nobles. I buy those books. I read those books. I hate those books.

Despite having spent thousands and thousands of dollars on higher education, I have single-handedly financed an entire publishing genre in search of an answer to the elusive question of what I should be doing with the rest of my life. Which is why I find it so surprising, now that I have started this blog, that many of you - and you know who you are - have offered me career advice in the form of “you should write a book.”

First, I’m not a writer. I’m not even an aspiring writer. I’m just a smart-ass with internet access and way too much time on my hands. Second, where were you people before I spent a small-fortune on self-help books?

Nevertheless, I promised Dan that I would look into whether anyone might be interested in publishing my ramblings. I sent an unsolicited email to a local literary agent (probably a mistake), who was kind enough to send me a response (probably a mistake), which I will now share with you (definitely a mistake), along with my interpretation of what she really meant, but was just too polite to say!

Agent: “It's actually well-known in publishing that agents will never go to a link they've been sent to, …”
Translation: You have just committed the most egregious faux pas possible in the publishing industry and there is no chance in hell that I would ever represent you …

Agent: “I think you're funny, but there are a few things to being an author that are lacking here.”
Translation: I don’t think you are funny, but there is no harm in throwing you this bone, especially since you are completely lacking in talent, the ability to write a paragraph without using parenthesis, a target audience, etc., etc., etc.

Agent: “Essay collections are bought from authors who are on NPR, writing in Playboy, etc., etc. They dominate that market, …”
Translation: David Sedaris you are not and the only bunny in your future involves reading Peter Cottontail to your nephews.

Agent: “The more straightforward answer you're looking for …”
Translation: Despite what you say, it is clear from your writings that you don’t understand sarcasm, so I won’t waste it on you. Instead, let me put it in little bitty words so that your can understand – you can’t write!”

Agent: “Hey, if you're not practicing law, you're already moving in the right direction :)”
Translation: I’m sure you sucked as an attorney too :)!
Agent: “Good Luck”
Translation: Don’t ever contact me again.

© 2006 Cindy Lane. All rights reserved.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


I think you should forget about the book deal and try writing a sitcom. Everywhere you go you come back with a funny story. A good example would be your trip to the LSUMC ER.

6:41 PM  

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