Ok, while not having the same impact as say, "Solent Green is PEOPLE!" the realization that the movers and shakers in the publishing world are in fact human can be a bit of a shock to many writers.
Writing is a primarily isolated sport, even those of us with writing compadres and wonderful writing groups find ourselves living in a solitary world during most of our writing process. And for the most part our exposure to folks like agents and editors is limited to the Internet.
But when we break out of that solitary life and do something adventuresome (see last week's blog about conferences if you've already forgotten ;)) we find out that they are real people!
Yes, agents and even editors (I know, these shocks just keep coming!) are real people with real lives beyond the publishing world. And guess what--they aren't even consumed with trying to stop writers from getting published.
Believe it or not, agents and editors want writers to get published. No writers = no agent/editor jobs. What they want (the good ones anyway- and I met some very good ones this past week-end *points again to last week's blog*) is to find publishable work. Now to be fair, they can't go and critique every submission that comes their way--they'd never have time to make a living for one thing. BUT when you go to a writer's conference, they are there IN PERSON to help writers!
You heard me, real agents and editors taking time out of their full lives to come help writers. Now, hopefully they are helping themselves as well by finding some new writers to work with. But they are also there working with writers, talking to writers, drinking with writers (ok, different story).
And we as writers get to see them. In person. As real people.
It's easy for us to forget that, and think of them as gatekeepers to our dreams. But they are more and less than that. They aren't all powerful, nor all knowing. They are people. With a job they love. Who happen to be looking for folks like us.