Tuesday, June 26, 2012


An editor, a writer, and an agent  by Andy Scheer


An editor, a writer, and an agent were walking down the street ...

Sounds like the opening of a joke, but it might be the start of something much more significant.

A couple decades ago, we'd worked as editors on the same magazine. Now one of us, on staff with a Chicago-area publisher, had invited the others to take part in a daylong seminar for their freelance editors. We'd not seen each other in months, so on the eve of the meeting we helped walk the editor's dog and we caught up on each others' lives.

As the writer described the latest challenge she faced, she used a phrase that nearly gave me goosebumps.

I stopped her, repeated the phrase, and told her she'd just identified her brand—an angle she could use to create a series of Christian living titles. Everything she'd been living for the past fifteen years was available at her fingertips as material she could fit under the umbrella of that casual, unplanned phrase.

The editor seconded the motion and joined what became a three-way brainstorming process.

That was last Tuesday evening. It's way too early for any of us to count chickens. My writer friend may not follow through (though I plan to keep reminding her). Even if she does, she may not opt to have me represent her. While our editor friend has a seat on the company's publications board, she can't control if they'll accept the project. And even if it's published, there's still the matter of sales ...

But for now, I'm glad I volunteered to take that walk.

4 comments:

Amanda Stephan said...

Brainstorming. The I Ching of exercises! Although I'm sure the dog was thankful in its own way, that writer was extremely blessed. And I'm jealous. (By the way. I have a dog that needs to be walked, so if you're volunteering for a brainstorming session, I'm all for it...)

Most of the time, when brainstorming occurs, that's when potential miracles are born. This is an exciting time for that writer. And I'm happy for her!

Kudos to you for nudging her in the right direction, Andy.

Heather Day Gilbert said...

Nothing like getting great minds together, working on a common goal. This would be the dream team for any writer! An agent and an editor, in tune with your mission!

Rick Barry said...

Andy, we have a dog too. Feel free to drop by for a walk next time you're near Indianapolis. I'm always ready for some brainstorming! ;)

sally apokedak said...

What a great story. God put you all together for a purpose, whether it pans out as you envision it or not.

Brainstorming with creative friends is always fun. Having possibilities open up is so encouraging.