Monday, October 17, 2016

Paradigm Shift

A few weeks ago, I posted about agents being open to diversity. I didn’t expect the kind of positive responses that I received, and I was so grateful for the discussions that followed. I love having grown up conversations about issues that really matter, especially after watching the fiasco that’s turning out to be our election year.

But I digress.

I wanted to share a few more thoughts, and some comments that really made my day.

One of my friends asked this amazing question:

We all like to talk about ideas. But I think it’s more than talking about it. Or even bringing attention to the issue. As another person stated:

We have to change the way we talk about it. Making diversity seem like the half-brother freezing out in the cold only sets it apart even more. We have to treat it like it’s a part of the family. There’s no reason to act like it’s a new thing, or like it’s something no one’s considered before. Because we’re all exposed to diversity. Even when we don’t realize it.

After that conversation, I started combing through the MSWL threads on twitter, and I noticed two very different ways of approaching diversity.

Here is example number 1:

As you can see, this is what I mentioned in my previous blog post. They want diversity! They’re open to it! But what does that even mean? All that it tells me is that they’re on the band wagon, when they don’t even know what it really means.

Here’s example number 2:

See the difference? These agents take diversity as a given. They’re not throwing out random keywords, they know what they’re looking for, and they’re asking for it. It’s like if you represent speculative fiction and you say something like: guys, I’m seeing way too much paranormal fantasy. Got any contemporary fantasy? Same thing. Diversity is just a part of their list, and they know what kind of stories they’re looking for. 

And this one I just loved:

It's specific. They know what they want, and they're willing to ask for it. 

Even though I'm the one who brought up the topic, I feel like I'm the one who learned from the rest of you! So thank you, to everyone who added comments!