I've read a blog post at The Passive Voice about how some writers act in defense of their agent. It stirred me to write a blog post of my own, because it's something that bothered me since I started writing.
In the beginning as a fresh new writer, it baffled me that writers grovelled in the dirt to get an agent. They really did despair with each rejection and went into orgasmic highs when they landed an agent, and that without even selling one book.
I though at that time, if you are groveling and going trough all that misery of rejections why not submit directly to a publishers. The chances were the same as in getting an agent, only then at least you sold your book. Selling your book can justify yourself getting in orgasmic high, even to psychedelic drug use high, whichever you fancy.
However, the arguments given against submitting directly to the publisher is that they don't take non-agent submissions. I think if you are already grovelling in the dirt to get things done, why then not ignore that one rule? Most don't go against rules, because we are thought we need to follow rules at all cost. The publishers and agents know that, that's why this rule exist, while the publishers still have their slush-piles for manuscripts send to them. If they like your book, they will not deny it just because it wasn't send by an agent.
I've never understood the need writers have to consider their agent a business partner. To me they are like a salesperson, an employee, and one that ask too high a salary. I don't understand why writers give them 15% of earnings and give them total control of their finances. Most Agents aren't accountants or bookkeepers. Worse is the utter belief in the need of agents to negotiate a contract. They probably know as much about contracts as the next men or woman, because most are not literary lawyers, or studied law to know better. Why then the need to go down in the dirt on your knees, with you puppy eyes raised high to the mighty agent, if he is an employee of yours? I wish my employer would do that for me, I would have had a six figure salary by now, a bigger car, and a bigger house.
The way writers defend their agents seems like idolatry, and maybe it is. The writer the lowly supplicant, and the agent Saint Peter keeping the gate to heaven. I think part of what happens here is partly because the way we humans are bred. We are thought to be dependent, and in most of all things in life we are dependent on others. We don't plant our own food, or make our own things, or repair anything ourselves. (exceptions excluded) We don't even protect ourselves anymore, it's the law and police that's expected to do that for us. We are encouraged (some even forced) to learn at schools and follow the teachers every command, while critical thinking isn't thought at schools. We are supposed to choose every so many years representatives that will govern us. We chose them so they will tell us what we may or may not do. This we think is common and normal. Responsibility and consequence (partially) is taken away from us humans, and that makes some(a lot) of use act weird when it's completely illogical to do so.
We should open our eyes more to things going on, and believe less, and think more. The more we think the better we will lead our lives in our own favor. Writers should start think about what is happening and adapt to the changes happening around us. If they keep their idolatry they will get burned.