by Carrie Fancett Pagels
With the ACFW conference right around the corner, many may be tempted to pull their diva mantle out and pack it! Don’t! With narcissism so rampant in our culture that DSM revisions had to more narrowly define its features, one might wonder if I am spitting in the wind to even comment on this phenomenon. Even so, I feel led to get this post out.
1) God doesn’t like it. Yup. We are to have humility and bring glory to Him not ourselves, through our work.
2) The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. At conference, look to your left and your right when at a dinner meeting. Are you in diva mode? The unpublished person to your left-who you ignored might have a three-book contract with a CBA publisher within a few months of this conference. The person to your right, who won’t acknowledge your presence, might lose her 5-book contract with CBA’s biggest publisher when her sales are low. Don’t ever think those contracts are all about you. Someone higher than you controls the universe!
3) Divas are not nice. Jeane Wynn, who spoke on PR at the 2010 ACFW conference, shared that she’s often asked what the best thing an author can do for PR. “Be nice.” That was something she has no control over. People don’t want to buy books from unkind people. Do you? Do you understand divaness is not nice? Sigh… True divas are likely not reading this post, anyway! I am writing to the choir.
4) People talk. Oh yes, they do. They aren’t exclaiming over Diva Writer’s great attributes but about how difficult it is to work with such a person. Diva Writer doesn’t understand that demanding one’s own way all the time is unattractive. Irritating even. And unprofessional.
5) Okay, so you’re not a full-blown Diva Writer. Are you a mini-diva? Do you never bother to promote your friends and other writer colleagues? Put in a good word for them? That would be because you are too busy writing your super fabulous debut novel. Wow. Really. So you can’t blog because it is too hard? You’re a writer. And you can’t volunteer for any ACFW positions because it would make you into one of those pitiful workers who just try so hard, oh my! Well, baby princess diva-you’ve got another thing coming. If you think you can get your contract and with your high heels step across the backs of those who are diligent at helping others you may find yourself frozen out.
6) Do unto others as you would have done unto you.
7) If someone held a mirror up to you or videotaped your behavior, would it please God? Would God call you to be a Diva Writer-or when He whispered in your ear, did He ask you to obey Him and write? I’m not talking about boundaries for best-selling authors here. We all need boundaries.
Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D. – Represented by Joyce Hart, Hartline Literary Agency. ACFW MidAtlantic Zone Director. Administrator of the group blog “Colonial Quills” and international blog “Overcoming Through Time-With God’s Help“. Columnist of “Make Your Characters Behave” for MBT Voices Ezine.