Look, I realize that the perceived need for an agent is written into the DNA of the hopeful writer, and despite anything I may say, as-yet unrecognized writers will fervently look to agents to change their lot. I am honestly hopeful your experience will be different than mine have been time and time again. But when the opportunity does arise, as it will if you continue to work hard on your own behalf, pursue it with these points in mind:
Keep in mind at all times when dealing with an agent that they are charming fucks when they need to be. Their assistants’ nervous twitches and battered housewife-attention to detail should clue you in that this is infrequently the case when they don't need to be.
So when they are in knock-you-sockless charming mode it is difficult to not believe that clean living has finally inclined the good Lord to gift you with the attention of someone who sees you for the enormously talented individual you undoubtedly are in a way that no one else, save loved ones and other obligated people in your social circle, has managed not to somehow miss. They see the great things ahead for you that you have nutured visions of in your sheltered secret heart. They seem to marvel that you don't realize quite how great you are! They have great plans for you that are only vaguely outlined but seem to be foreshadowed with all the glories dreamt of by man; these plans are best kept to themselves for the time being anyway, as you're an Artist, and artists needn't worry about such things. Leave it all to them! You just need to create, you genius, you golden god you. You've just received the greatest blowjob your ego has ever had. Remember, though, that you've gotten it from a professional, and like an expert performance of same in a literal sense by a prostitute, it's naive to confuse actual feeling has played any part in this servicing, or that you mean any more as a person to them than you do to the prostitute coldly wiping your semen from her chin once the performance is over. It's just business; an act they've all been through so many times before that they're propelled through it almost by unconscious muscle-memory alone--but aided, of course, by the feeling of power they get from their unerring ability to play you like a Fisher Price xylophone at will and obscure their detachment as they watch you fall in love with their words, and look at them like long-awaited saviors. Never let people tell you that agents are people who aren't talented enough to be in show business; an agency's staff is not infrequently made up of better actors than are found on its talent roster.