There are people out there that are different. We all know them. When I was growing up the expression was that they "marched to a different drummer". And in an age when conformity was everything, marching to a different drummer was not acceptable. Fortunately, things are a little different now, though not as different as one would think.
How different you can be--and still generally tolerated--depends mostly on how much money or influence you have. Somebody like Oprah or Nora Roberts can stretch the boundaries more than someone like Anny Cook. Do I want purple hair? Hmmm. Hafta think about that. Hafta decide how that would affect my general over-all image as a writer.
Before anyone knew I was a writer, it didn't matter if I wore sloppy sweatpants on my milk run to the store. Now I have to worry about who I might meet or greet while I'm out and about. Like I said, if I was a big name star it might not make two hoots whether I was dressed up or not.
When I was younger (back when there were dragons and sorcerers) I longed to really be a hippy. Alas, I was a mother and wife and hippydom was not in my cards. Then I really wanted to be McGyver or Indiana Jones. Sigh. No one needed me rescue them. I only got to use my handy-dandy duct tape and Swiss Army Knife in the office repairing computers.
At last I found a place that I can be a little different. Yep. I write stories that are a little different--according to the reviewers. Haven't quite decided whether thats a compliment or their way of saying that they're not quite sure how to categorize my work. Maybe it's a little bit of both. In the business of writing, being different is actually an advantage. After all, if you're work is toooo much like the next guy's, then they call that plagiarism. So different is good.
It's kind of funny. The comment I hear the most often about my stories are that they are different or unusual. "Where do you get those strange ideas?" I guess I must just be marching to my own drummer.