For me, as a writing coach, one of the most revealing questions directed to an agent and listed – among many - in Harry Bingham’s Getting Published (A & C Black 2010) is:
Are you taking on me or my book?
You need to know it's you. That would mean they are on your side, they believe in you, they’re going to work for you, they have not assumed you are a one-trick pony.This will do wonders for your confidence as a writer. And the confidence to say ‘I am a writer’ is an elusive quality among the unpublished but hopeful.
This of course is a nonsense. Publication in itself is not proof of writing talent. It is, it’s true, a form of external evaluation and accreditation. But - like many of the people sitting in my workshops – many hopefuls could in truth and in confidence make the statement ‘I am a writer’.
But they don’t.