I don't need an agent.
No, I really don't.
I know what an agent can get me. I know that I can only send out my manuscript to a handful of publishing houses without one. I also know that even if I'm allowed to submit my stuff to a publisher, an agent's recommendation will carry more weight. I know that the agent will help me get a good contract, that I'll have a much better chance of making it as an author if I have one.
I know all of this. But I still don't need an agent.
Why? Because none of my books are ready. Not a single one. Because, even if I manage to write the best pitch letter EVER, the book it describes isn't good enough to be published.
Right now all my stuff sucks.
I don't need an editor, either. I don't need anyone to tell me my stuff sucks, mainly because I know it does already. I even know what's wrong with most of the plots/characters/etc. I just can't figure out whether fixing these problems is worth it. Will the novel, if repaired, be any more worth reading?
I don't know. I'm at that awful stage in so many things--painting, writing, piano playing--when I'm good enough to realize how completely awful I am. It's a hard peak to reach, but it's even harder to face when I've done so much work only to realize that most of it's a waste.
So I don't need an agent.
I need a good book to read, a good night's sleep, and a little perspective. Then I'll return to the computer and start editing (again), return to the piano to work on Pachebel's damn Canon in D, and return to my paints to try something new. I do realize this is all practice. I just wish I could see my practicing getting me somewhere.
Perhaps I need a little courage, too. Anybody got some extra courage they can spare?