I’ve been getting a lot of mileage out of “consciously uncoupled.”
I’d been thinking about my agenty relationship and career for a while and did a lot of research on the subject. It was a terrifying idea. Break up with my agent? GO BACK INTO THE DARK AGES!?!?
But then I read an article that said “It’ll be less scary than what you’ve built it up to. Agents are nice, reasonable people. It’s why you picked them in the first place.”
So I bit the bullet and emailed her. Note that it wasn’t a “I want to break up” email. I said “It’s been a few years and I don’t feel like I’m progressing the way I want. I was wondering if I should try another path, like self-publishing or something.” Then I asked her thoughts.
Then I sweat about it for a while.
Not for very long though. She’s very responsive. (Which is why you should definitely query her!)
And it turned out, she’d been worrying about the same thing! So her response boiled down to “I’m great and you’re great, but we’re not as great together as we should be.”
So we consciously uncoupled.
And that article was right! My agent/ex was neither bitter nor abusive. She was professional and very nice. We’re going to keep in touch and she’s said to keep her up-to-date on my progress. So even though we’re now writing exes, we’re still friends!
There’s a lot of advice articles on how and when to consciously uncouple with your agent, but not a lot of first-person ‘how it wents,’ so this is mine! It was scary in the lead-up, because the anticipation is usually worse than the actual event.
Basically, be polite and honest and your agent will be polite and honest too. And it’s only a little scary being in agent-free-land again. And it might not even end up with a conscious uncoupling! It could be you just needed to have a “where is this relationship going” talk to rechart the course.
Now, does anyone know an agent looking for millennial nerd girl cozies?