Above all, writers need readers. But we also need each other. The support and camraderie shared by writers is invaluable...after all, no one understands the highs and lows of this crazy business more than other writers. Rejection? We've all been there. The frustration of finding an agent? Not many writers get signed with the first one they query. Getting published? The wait for a contract can be the worst experience we'll ever have. Especially if that contract never comes. When I wrote and sold my first novel, I didn't have that kind of support network. I didn't even know there were any local writers groups, and we didn't have the internet. It was my agent who taught me the importance of networking...and I'm so glad she did!
Now that we have a new option--self-publishing--there's a whole new set of issues to deal with. There's choosing how to publish and with whom...making the books available...marketing...social media...and now, more than ever, we need each other.
Most writers understand this. I've been fortunate to be part of a wonderful group of writers who support and encourage each other. Right now, one member of the inner circle is dealing with overwhelming family issues. The rest of the group has offered her understanding and whatever else she may need. Another is about to launch a new book and wants to do a blog tour. Several of us have offered our blogs to get him off to a good start. Collin has designed most of our covers. William does my editing and Beth's. Mike knows more about promotion and marketing than any of us. Beth formats the books. We all buy and review each others' books. Yesterday, I finally got around to getting a start on my Pinterest page. I started with book covers--my own and friends' covers. So did Beth.
But as in any other profession, there are divas--writers who are all about themselves. They don't buy or review other authors books and try to claim we only give each other good reviews because we're friends. After all, we couldn't possibly be giving honest reviews if we didn't give them five stars, right?
They don't comment on others' blogs, but they wonder why no one is commenting on theirs. They don't buy others' books but can't understand why we aren't lining up to buy theirs. When asked to use their blog for a blog tour, they expect to be paid--even if the blog in question doesn't have enough traffic to warrant payment for its use. ("But I have to charge you. You'd be taking up MY valuable time." What an ego!)
Yesterday, I had an experience that was beyond stupid. I made a mistake with an idiotic Facebook quiz that resulted in a baby diva making a complete fool of herself rather than simply deleting the unwanted posting. A non-issue became an issue. The baby diva was rude and unprofessional. "Please don't post anything on my Facebook page that doesn't directly pertain to ME. When people visit MY page, they have to see ME. Just ME! Why don't you love ME????"
I'm paraphrasing here, but this is the gist of it. Princess has to be the center of attention. Even if she has to stomp her feet and act like an idiot to get there.
I won't say that no successful writer has ever been a diva. There are more than a few...but they became divas after achieving success, when people were (for the most part) willing to put up with their behavior. Diva behavior in someone before they've achieved success is usually the kiss of death for one's career. What goes around really does come around...and when the author karma train derails, look out!
What goes around really does come around...good and bad!