Welcome to Friday, brought to you by the letter D. This is stop # 4 on the A to Z Blog Challenge. Lots of fun to be had here. Today I thought I’d blog about daring to be different.
The one thing every kid wants is to fit in, to be part of the in-crowd, to be accepted. Sometimes people go to great length for that to happen. They’ll abandon their beliefs just to be part of a group they admire, and often for all the wrong reasons. When something happens, and they don’t make it into the in-crowd, they have two choices—blame it on the crowd and do nothing, or accept the situation and do something about it.
When I was teaching full-time, I saw how desperately some kids wanted to be accepted by others, and I watched good kids give up so much to be like everyone else. Why? Because being different, being your own person takes guts. Daring to be different means opening yourself up to pain and ridicule. It means standing on the sidelines instead of doing what everyone else is doing. It means standing up for who and what you are, daring to put it all out there because it’s the right thing to do.
Being an author can be like that. You can choose to do what everyone else does, or you can choose to be different, unique in some way. If your book sells, you feel great, accepted, if it doesn’t, you feel crushed. Rejection letters, especially those that go, “publishing is a highly subjective business and while your manuscript isn’t right for us, it may be right for someone else” are painful to receive and not in the least helpful. We make a choice, we go back in make changes hoping that will help, and subbed again, and hoping this time the publisher will like it. We want to be part of the crowd, we want to be accepted, and if we have to change this, that, and the other thing for it to happen, so be it.
Some of you may have heard about the recent debacle at Entranced Publishing. Yes, the publishing house closed under strange, even suspicious circumstances. Many incredible authors, editors, cover artists, publicists were left high and dry by people they trusted. I was luckier than many because my book was still at the editing stage. Others had to watch newly released books get taken down, even when they were doing well. Everyone with a book out there was shafted—not paid royalties owed, not paid for editing done, not paid for beautiful covers that would no longer see the light of day.
Those awesome authors had no recourse. Were they bitter, angry, upset? Of course they were, but instead of wallowing in their misery, they’ve dared to be different. They’ve taken the bull by the horns and moved on. Once they received their rights, they’ve resubmitted books to other publishers and a number of them have chosen to self-publish their books. So, my fellow former Entrancies, I congratulate you. Dare to be different. Get on with your careers and don’t let what one person did ruin your lives. Books are about authors, not publishers and I know, by daring to be different and moving on, each and every one of you will be a great success.