When I began to read this recent article from Alan Rinzler in Forbes, I was incredibly irritated by its opening paragraph.
How do literary agents who blog, tweet and carouse online find the time to do the real work of agenting: reading, hobnobbing with editors, reading some more and making great book deals for their clients?
I’ve read many variations of this opinion over the years and the subtext has always been this:
How come agents complain all the time that they’re too busy to give feedback with their rejections, or to respond quickly to submissions, but they still have time to blog and tweet and play on Facebook with their friends?
Of course, as I read on through the article a few things became clear: the agent being discussed is young, and keen, and driven, and I can’t fault him for that; and he’s entitled to his opinions, as am I. And my opinion on the matter in hand is this.
Contrary to popular belief agents are real people, almost the same as us (only scarier). They are entitled to have time off from their day-jobs and if they choose to use some of that time off by blogging, tweeting or otherwise communicating with us, we should be bloody grateful to be given the chance to benefit from their knowledge and advice.
I started writing in the days before the internet: I’d have done so much better, much more quickly, if I’d had access to all the resources that are available to us today. We should make the most of it, and be grateful.