In competition with the millions of other sperm struggling to get to that big fat publishing egg at the center of it all. Agents, of course, are the diaphragms that filter the weak from the strong.
It’s a terrible race and of the tens of thousands of manuscripts being written, very few actually make it through all the steps to publishment (yes, I know that’s not a real word). Even fewer succeed in selling substantial copies.
When I think about it-
We’re competing for an agent’s attention- not only amongst fellow writers in the slush pile, but also already published writers, the agent’s established clients, time- because most agents have little of it to devote to our cause unfortunately,
AND we’re taught that we basically have to write the first two pages of our manuscript as if the agents suffer from rampant attention deficit disorder. If every word we use does not grab an agent’s attention and hold on to it, we’re screwed.
So yes. After careful reflection on all of this, I totally feel like a big sperm.
Swimming upstream in the fallopian tube,
the equivalent distance of the earth to the moon.
But, throughout it all I keep in mind that-despite the odds, babies are born every day.
"Just Keep Swimming!"