Monday

Writer Diva: Myth or Reality?

Sometimes, I read blogs from agents that touch on issues of how writers should behave. I smile when I read the comments on those posts, most of which are from aspiring writers. A majority of the commenters have no personal experience of what kind of things take place behind the scenes in publishing, so their comments sometimes sound like this: "DUH! Of course I'm going to be easy to work with and get along with everyone. Who are these idiot writers you're talking about?" They seem to have the impression that contracted writers run around like opera divas, having tantrums for no reason and being completely arrogant.

I don't know a single contracted writer who acts like that. I suppose there may be some divas out there, but for the most part, the contracted writers I know work their tails off, try their very best to get along, and are humble, down-to-earth people.

It is highly unlikely that most working novelists would ever believe that we are geniuses of some kind. Instead, we have to tell ourselves why it's OK that we can never measure up! As writers, our lifestyle is one of receiving criticism, all the time. Our novels go through round after round of criticism, and editors don't have time to sugarcoat their comments or to worry about whether writers are getting enough positive reinforcement. It's true that many writers get positive feedback from readers. The praise of readers matters a great deal and soothes some of the pain of the process, but it doesn't erase our knowledge of our own shortcomings.

In addition, most writers are working very hard for very little money. Most writers are either working second jobs or raising children at home (sometimes homeschooling) while they write their novels.

Does this work ethic and ability to take constant criticism sound like anything the average diva could survive? Not to me! LOL! The longer I spend in this business, the more I respect writers for their endurance and grace under less than ideal conditions.

What do you think? have you known writers who displayed clear, inarguable evidence of diva-like attitudes? Or do you know the same humble, hardworking people I do?