4 Signs You Might Be a Book Diva

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It’s been less than a year since my very first book was published. It has been a wonderful, eye-opening year where I’ve reached unbelievable highs, dipped to depressing lows, and learned a boatload of lessons about the writing world.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned over the past nine months is: Don’t be a diva.

(Do you need multiple literary agents if you write different genres?)

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Column by Kristi Belcamino, writer, photographer, and crime reporter
who also bakes a tasty biscotti. Her first novel was inspired by her dealings
with a serial killer. Find out more at blessedarethedead.com. Her third book,
BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO WEEP (HarperCollins, April 2015), follows
San Francisco Bay Area reporter Gabriella Giovanni as she stumbles onto
a horrific crime scene with only one survivor—a baby girl. Connect with
Kristi on Twitter and Facebook.

I’m sure you're not a diva. I’m talking about people who think they deserve a book deal, that they deserve success, and really shouldn’t have to work very hard to get it. In their minds, agents should be hunting them down and begging them to work together. Editors should be knocking at their front door asking for everything they’ve written since kindergarten.

So, how’s that working for you?

Not so great, I imagine.

So, don’t be a diva. Let me give some examples.

You might be a diva if:

You think you “deserve” or are “owed” an agent or a book deal. All your friends have agents and book deals so what the heck is wrong with those agents and editors who have rejected you? You are owed one just as much as the other guy. After all, you have worked just as hard as your friends to get published. Or not.

You might be a diva if:

You expect everyone to buy your book and love it. Let’s face facts, here. Not everybody loves every book. And once you are published, not everyone who loves you is going to love your book. And surprise, surprise, even your very best friends might not buy your book. Get over it. It’s no big deal. You can’t expect everyone from your kid’s pre-school teacher to your grandmother’s gastroenterologist to buy your book just because you wrote it.

(If an agent rejects you, are they open to reviewing your revised submission?)

You might be a diva if:

You think every word you write is a precious little unique snowflake that makes music in your ears. Get over it. Nobody writes so well that they can’t use a little editing. Set your ego aside and kill your darlings. If you think you are already a perfect writer, then have fun writing for yourself because the chances of your work seeing the light of day are slim and none.

You might be a diva if:

You are so concerned with checking reviews every few seconds that you forget about writing your next book. You believe it really doesn’t matter because this first book will make your career as soon as those idiots who make up the NYT Bestseller list get their heads out of their butts and realize this. And as soon as you get that movie deal, you don’t actually even have to worry about writing another book if you don’t want to.

So, in summary, don’t be a diva.

Instead, work hard, be kind, and be grateful because I believe the path to publication is also the same path to building a successful writing career. It involves three things: the burning desire to constantly improve as a writer, the stubbornness to never give up along the way, and of course, a smidgen of good luck.

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