Yes, they do.
And, when the time is right, things happen a bit differently. I do NOT recommend this, but I ignored lots of the advice I routinely dole out about seeking an agent. I did not send multiple queries, for instance. I chose the agent I wanted and sent one query to her, because I felt so certain that she would feel the same way.
Lucky thing I was right.
Also, this manuscript had not been seen by a lot of eyes. A few people had seen the first chapters, but nobody but me had seen the full thing when I sent it out. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS. It is a really good idea to have your manuscript read by a critique group, or beta readers, or an editor or coach. The only reason I didn't do that is because I had a strong feeling that Erin would connect with my manuscript and I felt a sense of urgency about getting it to her.
And it all worked out even more perfectly and wonderfully than I could have hoped.
But, here's the deal–and this is a very important deal, I might add. I've been working at this for years. My overnight success has been eons in the making. I've written novels that never saw the light of day, earned my MFA, published a novel (with a small press), blogged here for eight years. I've coached writers and taught them and critiqued manuscripts. I've joined associations, and read articles and books and blog posts galore on writing. I've tweeted and Pinterested and Instagrammed and Facebooked. I've immersed myself in the world of writing fully for the last dozen years, and partially before that.
I'm not saying all that to brag, but just to point out that there's been a ton of work behind this. And while I hope that you don't have to wait quite as long as I did, I do want to emphasize that you will have to do some work to reach your dreams.
Yeah, I know you know that. And I have people ask me all the time how to get an agent–when they've not yet written one word. Or tell me that they are going to send their book proposal that consists of one page of ideas to a top publisher. And then they will wonder why they got rejected.
I hate being all lecture-y like this but it is one of my pet peeves. Do the work first and concentrate on that. Please. The rest will follow when the time is right.
Even if it does take twelve years.
Photo by brokenarts.