measuring success in non-tangibles

From an email one of my clients sent to me today:

“Money or property you can qualify and quantify but to me it is not a watermark for progress in life, or for happiness, nor is a growing bank account an escape…It is true that in many ways, especially at the time, you offered me a life-line when you signed me up, whether this will result in success for us seems almost secondary now.”

This author and I have been working together for quite some time and, as yet, we have not succeeded in making a sale. But I continue to have faith in their talent and they continue to have faith in mine. (Indeed, this author has garnered the most complimentary set of rejections I have ever seen!) I didn’t know their personal situation when I offered representation, so there was no way for me to know what effect I was having then. I cannot quite describe the feeling I got upon reading the statement above, but I wanted to note this one down to come back to on the days when I am feeling overwhelmed. So, when that avalanche of paper is threatening to consume me, and it feels like a thankless task, I can look at this and know that it doesn’t take a book sale, or a quantity of royalties, to show that this endeavor in which I’m engaged is worthwhile.

7 responses to “measuring success in non-tangibles

  1. Very nice. πŸ™‚

  2. I was saying something vaguely similar to my brother just this morning in email.
    You do good in the world. Never forget it.

  3. That really is inspiring! Good luck!

  4. *nods*
    I have, to date, just 2 fiction sales, and both of those are short stories to Hub magazine. I’m still sending stuff out (with the help of a very good friend), and planning on sending out a novel this autumn, and although more sales would be fantastic, what sustains me is knowing just how much *better* writing something makes me feel. Writing, polishing, knowing it’s good.
    My friend pushes me, encourages me, points me at markets, emails off submissions for me. If it weren’t for him, I’d be at best a very intermittent and sporadic writer. As it is, I feel as though I’m fulfilling some fundamental need. I need to write *well* like I need to breathe; it’s that much of a driving instinct.
    Thank you for taking the time to work with authors in this way. It’s an amazing gift, priceless. I’m sure the sales will come, and it’ll be because of the time you’ve put in with them. But the real return is, yes, what your author says above. When so many things in this world are dragged down to the tangible, to counting the beans, thank you for taking the time to nurture and invest in the intangible.

  5. It is worthwhile, and it’s good to see that you’re getting the kind of feedback that tells you so.

  6. It’s great to get that kind of feedback and you should get boosts like that more often πŸ™‚

  7. Excellent. πŸ™‚ Good luck to both you and your client in scoring that person some sales!

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