My current job is about to come to an end as the company closes. It’s not that I need a replacement, but I have been known to daydream about such things.
Case in point: I attended a seminar this afternoon called “So You Want to Write and Get Published.” Actually I do, and I have. But after listening to the presenter for about fifteen minutes, I walked out shaking my author’s head.
Mr. Linder began by telling his audience something about himself. “I’m an agent,” he said. My ears were on high alert, as I’m in the process of searching for the right agent for a children’s novel I’ve written. But Linder disqualified himself by saying he only represents people who create materials for educational purposes. I doubted that my other book about my alter-ego trolling the personals qualified as educational material either. I also doubted that many in the audience fit his market.
That wouldn’t have mattered if Linder had been a dynamic speaker with something original to say. Instead he spoke in a slow monotone and explained that literature fell into two main categories: fiction and non-fiction. From there he defined what a genre was, stressed the value of accurate spelling, and emphasized the importance of endorsements. That’s when I left.
Honestly, I could have done better. I would have started by polling the audience to see who has begun the writing process and who is contemplating it. I would have asked what kind of work the attendees were toiling over, and I could have given them some pointers based on experience that is broader than educational materials for teachers. No offense meant here to either Mr. Linder or teachers.
In fact, Mr. Linder did teach me something. I mean if he can get a gig on a cruise ship, might I not want to give it a try?