People ask me for advice on getting published more often these days. I love mentoring but it’s not a simple question to answer. My response is to ask questions of my own to figure out the person’s goals. The path I’m on may be wildly different from the one another writer wants to follow. The first topic of discussion is usually about agents.
My parents used to tell me, “It’s not just what you know, but who you know.” They were talking about finding a job-slash-career. My mom was a professional recruiter for 20 years or so. She matched up job seekers with employers. She also helped the job seekers fine tune their resumes, practice interviews, and coached them on ways to obtain skills relevant their interests.
That’s effectively what an agent does, too. My goal was to follow the traditional path, which meant I needed that “who you know” person. A literary agent is a writer’s advocate, matching authors to publishers. My agent is also my cheerleader and my mentor. That’s exactly what I wanted.
Does that mean my path is should be your path? Nope. There is no “right” way to reach your writing goals. This is just the way I chose. Your mileage may vary.