Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The Wildest Rides

We learn from making mistakes.
We learn from innovation.
One cannot exist without the other.

So why do we bash both so heavy-handedly? As if we shouldn't think outside the box about some ridiculous new idea or risk making a mistake.

Daring is exciting. Beating the odds and winning after being daring is a landmark thrill. Mind-boggling. Life altering. We adore those who beat those odds. Amanda Hocking busting a serious barrior with seven-figure sales of ebooks, Stephen King in his horror origins and his wife pulling Carrie out of the trashcan, JK Rowling rising from poverty to put YA fantasy on its ear, Christopher Paolini publishing at age sixteen with Eragon , JA Konrath snubbing his nose at the big publishers by taking his rejection to the ebook stage and making more money than he did before.

But guess what? People questioned Hocking's decision to switch from self-pubbing to traditional. King won a literary award in 2003 to the pompous huff and puff of various literary critics. JK Rowling perportedly wrote about the devil and dark magic, causing the ban of her books in many school circles, negative remarks from the Pope and much religious debate.

Some might say that any publicity is good publicity, but who wants to risk the success of a book he's spent years writing on the whims and fancies of online pundits who live to make other lives miserable? So the grand majority of us try to stay inside the lines, afraid to be daring, and ultimately fall into the gray area that consists of all other writers.

The answer?

Write your best words, using your most unique ideas, without concern for what some blogger is going to think about how your book doesn't fit the norm.

Note how these famous authors hunkered down, kept writing, kept promoting, and came out the victor on the other side of the battle. Newness is scary to most people. Ebooks, podcast serials, and Twitter books were frowned upon by many.

Life has a habit of self-correction.

The extremes of what we do, writing included, infuriate and scare the masses. But then those extremes are hyped and bashed and gradually become household words . . . then everybody wants one or wants to be one.

Like those who walked before you, like those who took a licking and kept on ticking. just write your best material and promote it to the best of your creative ability, and you'll do just fine. People don't talk about the amusement park ride that pleasantly swung in place. They brag about the one that took them the highest, the fastest and the craziest. And many of them refused to get on when they first heard about that ride.

1 comment:

Jarvis said...

It's good to be your own writer and take the criticism like a man, but that doesn't mean those critiques can't be useful.