Val is at a crossroads, my friends.
Not like Robert Johnson. I'm not a guitar player, and while I may whine and complain at every opportunity, I have led a charmed life, and know nothing of the blues. Not sellin' my soul to the devil any time soon.
I am, however, at a place in my writing journey where I must make a decision. Not to poop or get off the pot. I'm pretty sure I'll keep pooping. Which is an appropriate analogy for my writing, don't you think?
The decision involves which direction to take at the upcoming All Write Now conference in July. The one The Pony and I attended last year, where, I don't mean to brag (oh, who are we kidding, I LIVE for opportunities to brag) I took first place in the nonfiction category. This year, the conference will have agents from a couple of literary agencies (that's why they're called AGENTS, duh!) that represent the poop I'm churning out. Therein lies my dilemma.
I can schedule a pitch session with one or both of these agents, for FREE. One little glitch in this journey is that my work is not yet complete. A faux pas that is frowned upon, you see, the pitching of unfinished self-assumed masterpieces. However, it being nonfiction, I could get by with a proposal and three sample chapters, most likely.
I can pay to get a one-page written critique of my work, along with a 10-minute discussion with these same agents. I would need a one-page synopsis, and can only submit up to 10 pages. Money is no object for high-roller Val. She has a stack of un-cashed-in scratch-off winners that could buy 15 critiques. Although she is only allowed two, per the rules of the conference.
I can schedule the free pitch sessions, AND the critiques.
So, you may wonder, what exactly is the dilemma? The ONE conference session I want to attend will run at the same time as the pitch sessions. That's right. The ONE session tailor-made for Val, called "Life Writing: Personal Stories and Memoir," runs concurrently with the free pitch sessions.
Woe is Val. When will she ever have a chance to talk to a literary agent again? Should she throw caution to the wind, and pitch her poop anyway, risking ire because it's not fully formed and marinated and fermented? Or should she hold off on the pitch, attend the workshop she desires, and make do with the critique?
I suppose it comes down to which experience will benefit me most. Point me in the WRITE (see what I did there?) direction. I don't want to waste an agent's time for free. I don't have visions of hitting the New York Times Best Seller List after a 10-minute pitch at a writers' conference in Southeast Missouri. I'm not exactly Lana Turner cooling my rumpus on a stool at Scwab's, waiting to be discovered.
What say you, blog friends? Which do you think would be in Val's best interests?