A thousand to one. That’s the odds of having your manuscript pulled from the slush pile by an agent, at least according to Andy Ross, an East Bay rep. He gets 3-4,000 submissions per year, and from those he selects 3-4 to represent. Even this is no guarantee of publication. Some of those he picks are not in turn picked by publishers.

So if the odds are so poor, why do so many people strive to be writers? It’s equally likely that we’d become pro athletes or doctors (both of which would be more lucrative and prestigious). Do that many people have something to say (something which the rest of us apparently do not want to hear)?

Perhaps the satisfaction in writing is not the adulation but the challenge. Finishing a book is a huge accomplishment, even if no one ever sees it. It’s a way to satisfy yourself (go ahead, make the obvious masturbation analogy), like climbing a mounting or finishing a marathon.

And even though the odds are long, someone has to make it. I know three people who’ve run the gauntlet to getting published and now have successful careers. In fact, every writer I’ve met has warned that rejection is rampant and persistence a prerequisite to success.

So starting new month, I’ll be querying ten agents a month until I either run out of names or I find representation. Odds be damned!