WARNING: this blog post is on a political topic (just in case you want to avoid that topic these days)
Every once in a while someone comes along with a flashy new idea about how to revolutionize, streamline, or otherwise improve how writers contact agents. These new ideas are often wrapped in attractive language like "more efficient" "less time needed" and "better results."
One thing the purveyors of these new plans have in common is they are not agents. Almost as often they're not people who ever worked in publishing. Sometimes they're not even writers.
And to my way of thinking they're trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist.
Now, I grant that if you are a writer, you may have some quarrels with how the query system works. My position that it's not broken is certainly subject to debate and/or disagreement.
But I think one thing we can agree on is that it really helps to know how the query system functions before you try to improve it.
Which brings me to my new understanding of the new president.
As many of you know, I was in despair at the results of this election.
To me it felt like a repudiation of competence.
I understand intellectually that people voted one way for a myriad of reasons and those reasons are just as valid as mine were for voting the other way.
But now it's clear at least to me that the guiding principal is Everything That Happened Before was Bad, and thus We Must Change/Fix it.
Except no one in this administration has ever served in government. Not locally. Not nationally. And that's viewed as a positive thing. Just like those Query Fixers who think the system is broken because they didn't get the results they wanted.
Each of you reading this blog post is good at something. Something you've spent years learning to do, and are now probably pretty darn good at. It might be your paying job. It might be something you do as a hobby. To my way of thinking, those of you who are happily married after 25 years should list marriage as one of your skills.
Now imagine someone who has never done your job, or your hobby, or ever been married is now in charge and tells you things are going to change. Things are going to Improve. Except they don't know anything about your job or your hobby or been married.
If you want to drain the swamp, it's good to have a contractor who knows the difference between an alligator and a cypress log.
Which brings me to a book I'm looking forward to reading: The Death of Expertise: The Campaign against Established Knowledge and Why It Matters by Tom Nichols.
I welcome your comments on this, and of course, you're free to disagree with me.
Your comment MUST be civil to other commenters or your comment will be deleted. I don't care what you say to me but I prefer to engage with people who can frame their position rationally. Comments such as "you're wrong plus your query wears army boots" are not disagreement so much as diatribe. Offer up an opinion backed by facts or reason and I'm glad to listen.