One year of doing what I love

Hey, I just realized that it’s been a little over a year since I opened the doors of TBA. I was just sitting at lunch talking to someone about the fact that I am so lucky to be able to do what I love. Failure has never been an option for me in this job because I seriously could not do anything else for a living. I’m not being hyperbolic (well, except that I’m always hyperbolic without really meaning to be), I seriously am not qualified to do anything else. If you have a masters in English Lit, you don’t have a whole lot of job opportunities, believe me.

I digress. My lunch companion pointed out that the first step to doing what you love is actually knowing what you’d love to do, and that many people really don’t know what that is. Which is why you guys are lucky too. If you’re reading this, you may be making a living as a writer (which I know is an enormously wonderful situation to be in), or you may be struggling to make a living while you write, or you may be doing fine financially in a job you hate, struggling to find the time to write, or some combination/permutation of any of those.
And I know this is a tough, tough business, and that success can be so elusive, and that writing can be so lonely. But at the end of a long, tiring, stressful day, you still know what you love. And you’re doing it. And so, like me, you’re lucky, so much luckier than the people you know who have no idea what they’d love to be doing.
Lately, I’ve been feeling a part of a wonderful community of artists and businesspeople and combinations of those two, all of us united because we love books and we love reading and we love creating. Books saved my life. And now I get to help people make more books. What could be luckier or better than that?
Happy Birthday to me!
Jenny's posts

39 Responses to One year of doing what I love

  1. Weronika says:

    Indeed, happy birthday, and congratulations! 🙂

  2. Happy first birthday! <I8-D

  3. Congratulations and Happy Birthday!

  4. DL Hammons says:

    Happy Birthday to your business! Congrats!!

  5. Aimee Laine says:

    A great way to celebrate St. Patty's day! Congratulations!

  6. Don't know why my previous comment didn't show up, but I'll do a rinse and repeat…

    Congratulations on your birthday. It's wonderful to do something you really love for a career. I applaud you!

    Now…where's the cake?

  7. Happy Birthday!!! Congratulations 🙂

  8. Jenna says:

    Wonderful! Congratulations!

  9. Tara says:

    Hear, hear! Lucky, indeed.

    Happy first birthday to TBA!

  10. Congratulations on your birthday! Hope the next year to come is even better than the one passed.

  11. clindsay says:

    Awesome and inspiring post! =)

  12. Excellent post and so true! I was extremely fortunate to have parents who always told us, "follow your bliss." We were always encouraged to name what we loved and to pursue it. I'm a lucky girl.

  13. asquidsstory says:

    Happy Birthday! Your post accurately defines the lives of us writers. Most of us have been through the phases of rejection; indeed in the end it doesn't matter – we love what we do! I spent a year trying to find an agent who would at least take a "peek" at my work and you're the first agent to ever ask for that in an email.

    I've submitted that email now and will just move on if I meet yet another rejection notice, but thanks in advance for providing me the offer to at least submit a few words from my book. I've come to realize that getting an agent interested is just about impossible yet I will continue my quest no matter what happens.

  14. jennybent says:

    asquidstory, it's not impossible! Check out:

    And if you're on twitter, check out #FoundInSlush today.

  15. Amanda Ashby says:

    Happy birthday to The Bent Agency!!!!!!! I'm so glad that you're doing what you love, because you help so many of us do what we love as well – hip, hip, hooray!!!!!!

  16. Happy birthday to TBA! I'm lucky enough to actually enjoy the full-time job that funds my life while I write on the side. So happy you've found you're dream job!

  17. Happy Birthday to you indeed. I am finding some wonderfully interesting circles surrounding the world of writing, something I love to do.

    Best wishes, CJ xx

  18. Linda Clare says:

    Congrats Jenny! You deserve so much success–you've always been my dream agent. You were the one who scribbled suggestions on my rejection. It really kept me going and last year at long last, The Fence My Father Built, which you liked but rejected, was published to good reviews. Thanks for the encouragement. Two of my writer buddies (Heather Kopp & Laurie Notaro) snagged you for their agent and I'm still jealous. I'll keep dreaming.

  19. Words, words and more words make the wor_d go 'round. Kudos, congratulatons, and Happy Birthday are the words I send to you with sincere wishes for many more successful word-years to come! Page STurner on

  20. I hope you had cake!

  21. Jennifer says:

    I can't believe it's been a year already! Congratulations and thanks for doing what you do–and doing it so well.

  22. erikarobuck says:

    Happy Birthday Bent Agency! Your enthusiasm is contagious. Great post.

  23. It's great being able to do what we love. I'm blessed in so many ways and thankful for it all. Congratuations and I hope that your second year is a blessed one. Best, Buffy

  24. Patrice says:

    Happy agency birthday! You are doing a GOOD THING for the universe — encouraging creative things to grow.

    Carry on! And many happy returns of the day…

  25. Kim Nelson says:

    I'm not surprised you've created personal and professional success. Several years ago you encouraged my writing and made a real difference. I suspect your MO is consistent with the respect, concern and support you showed me; and when one moves in the world this way, how can she not be a success? Well done!

  26. Yat-Yee says:

    Congrats on your first year! Looking forward to more.

  27. I know what you mean. I've never really seen myself doing anything other than writing, and this comes from someone who was supposed to be a doctor. You don't know how glad I am that I'm not a doctor.

  28. So so true. The other day when I was feeling whiny, I suddenly stopped what I was doing, which was whining, and thought, "Dear god, get a grip! You are living the very life you only dreamed about in those 'other years' . . ."

    Anyway – Happy First Year Birthday!

  29. Bethany says:

    Congratulations! "We are lucky, aren't we lucky!"

  30. I'm ashamed I missed your birthday. Happy, happy belated birthday! And, yes, you're right. We're the lucky ones. We get to spend hour after hour contemplating sentence structure, plot-lines, character development, and dialog all in an effort to bring our art – our passion – to the highest level.

    Thank you for your dedication and for being an advocate for great literature. Belated virtual hugs to you, Jenny. I hope it was a very special day. 😉

  31. Anna says:

    Just found your blog and spent time over the weekend catching up. I love Corelle; we had the blue circled pattern when I was a kid.

    And I really appreciate the positive nature of your posts. While this can be a calling overloaded with negativity, I didn't find that within this blog, to which I offer a happy birthday!

  32. Robin says:

    Happy Bday! Robin's Chicks and TBA are very close to the same age! I started my blog in March last year! Crazy huh? You are still the agent of my dreams! I am so happy that you are doing what you love on your terms!

  33. I guess I'm in the minority. I love writing and hope to be able to make a living at it, but I also love my 'day' job as a respiratory therapist–I just would love it more if I could cut back to part-time.

  34. Lori Roy says:

    Congrats, Jenny. I am certainly thankful that one year ago, you opened your doors. You changed my life and I know others feel the same. Best wishes on your continued success.
    Lori Roy

  35. sunshine~ says:

    I just found your blog and wanted to congratulate you on your success. One statement you made brought a smile and encouragement to me and I wanted to thank you.

    You said; "Failure has never been an option for me in this job because I seriously could not do anything else for a living." so I, too, continue on because failure isn't an option for me either.

    I've written all my life, or as soon as I could write a word. The first 'real' job I had was a stay at home mom where the stories brought adventure before it was time for the prince or princess to fall asleep. Then circumstances brought a more daring atmosphere to my writing in a therapeutic sort of way.

    Now, as I continue toward my next 'real' job as a published writer, I relish all the learning tools I find along the way.

    Happy Birthday, and thanks again

  36. Donna says:

    Happy birthday! (My degree is even less useful – Russian literature. In case it makes you feel better.)

  37. Serenity says:

    How is it possible that I didn't comment on this post when you first wrote it? I keep this one bookmarked. I read it often, and even more than that, I mention it in conversation. My sister recently said, "Oh, you mean that blog post that changed your life?" Thanks for writing this. Some days my impatience is completely overridden by the joy of knowing what I love. I call it living in the wisdom of Jenny Bent.

  38. jennybent says:

    Serenity, thank you so much for writing this. I have printed it out and keep it to read when I too need a reminder of how lucky I am.