Blogger: Wendy Lawton
Location: From beautiful Lansing, Michigan
We’ve spent a whole week on our anatomy lesson but I’ve saved the best for last. Jokes abound about the heartlessness of agents but the truth is that when all is said and done John Q. Agent will not be judged on how well he handled the paperwork, how many books he sold or even how much money he managed to make for his clients. On that day, the Lord will want to know one thing, “Did you love my people?”
The philosophy is best summed up in 1st Corinthians 13 (The Message):
1 If I pitch projects with enthusiasm and eloquence but don’t love, I’m nothing but blah, blah, blah. (Okay, that’s my paraphrase) 2If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. 3-7If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Here’s the philosophy in a nutshell:
- Love never gives up.
- Love cares more for others than for self.
- Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
- Love doesn’t strut,
- Doesn’t have a swelled head,
- Doesn’t force itself on others,
- Isn’t always “me first,”
- Doesn’t fly off the handle,
- Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
- Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
- Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
- Puts up with anything,
- Trusts God always,
- Always looks for the best,
- Never looks back,
- But keeps going to the end.
What it comes down to is this: In the eternal scope of things it doesn’t matter how talented John Q. Agent is when it comes to negotiating contracts or protecting his clients’ rights (although those things are important). We are called to be servants. No strutting. No swelled heads. We can’t celebrate when we bring someone to his knees during negotiations. It isn’t always “me first.” Prima donnas need not apply. This philosophy will be our John Q’s secret weapon.
How about you as a writer? How important is the heart element in your writing and your dealings with those in the industry?
HEAD that’s right-sized and balanced
EYES focused on the future
MOUTH that speaks well of others
NOSE not stuck up, not looking for trouble
HANDS that don’t keep count of wrongs
HEART that loves God and people
Good advice, Wendy, for everybody. Thanks for the reminder that without love my writing is worthless.
Fabulous way to end your week of wonderful posts, Wendy.
In every aspect, the heart is the most important. Stories can inspire and touch hearts. This industry can be difficult and frustrating, but it is those you meet with a servant’s heart that make all the difference.
Thanks for a week of great posts.
And this is why Christ gave His life for us. It all comes back to love. Thank you, Wendy, for your words of inspiration this week.
I HAVE to depend on the Jesus in my Heart as a writer because there is no ME to depend on.
No BOOK writing experience.
No fancy skills.
No REAL love.
But… I heard God CAN and WILL use the foolish things of this world.
An agent = a pastor for authors, a pastor for pastors.
Michael K. Reynolds
John Q Public is merely the nom de plume for the entire team at the Books & Such Literary Agency. What a wonderful series this week. It’s just another reminder of how blessed I am to be part of the family.
Melissa Ewell Miller
Appealing to John Q.’ forgiving heart…
If an author sent a a query then after reading this blog, realizes all the mistakes they made, would John Q have the heart to reconsider a do-over?
If so how should that be handled???
Melissa, the nice thing about querying Books & Such is that we are always open to do-overs. Every query gets read even though we don’t respond unless we want to see more.
And I see many so many queries that it’s highly unlikely I’d remember a person’s previous query. So everyone gets a clean slate! (Besides if I did remember, I’d probably just be impressed by the improvement.)