That's me. Frolicking in the woods. Dancing to my own band. It appears that I'm not WRONG--just different in my approach to writing. Like most things in life, there is no one correct way to do it. Unfortunately, also like most things in life, everyone believes their way is the only right way.
So I'm a square peg in a round hole. Or visa versa. It doesn't really matter which way it works. Either way, I don't fit.
I don't mind being different. I do mind being told that different is wrong. I can deal with the limitations of different. It might handicap me in my endeavors. If that's the end result, I can deal.
I find myself unexpectedly angry about the whole thing. I spent some time last night trying to figure out why that is so. And I believe it's because our culture penalizes anyone who doesn't conform.
Conformity stifles creativity. Yep, I know there are rules. But within that framework there are variables. Who decides which variables work the best? All the major scientific discoveries were possible because someone stepped out of the box.
I find myself facing a true paradox. Writers are among the most conformist humans in the world. Print publishers are best, they cry even as the digital revolution is inundating the marketplace. Thou shalt only write in such and such POV, because that's the way we do it. No one will read this genre or that genre, until the day a digital publisher proves them wrong.
In an industry that should thrive on creativity and out-of-the-box writing, the powers that be are cramming more and more writers in that box. I know about economics. Boy, do I know about the recession. Most writers do.
Somewhere in the back of my mind, though, I wonder what the writers of the nineteenth and early twentieth century would think of the industry now. Would they applaud us for our conformist strivings or would they scratch their heads at our sheepish ways?