Tag Archives: outside the box

There’s More than One Writing Box

Youngest can’t play football at recess.  There are certain rules that must be followed and one (or more) of the kids playing failed to follow them.  The result was that ALL the wanna-be quarterbacks got banned from throwing the pigskin for the rest of the week.  (Tears in the morning flat-out stink, by the way.)

Hardly seems fair, that whole guilt by association, punish the masses for the destruction of the few, if-they-look-the-same-smell-the-same-act-the-same-in-the-same-box-they-must-all-go.

Yet, we writers  are just as guilty of this as the Recess Nazis are.

Newbies, we think, and stuff them all into a category of must-need-more-work.

“Agents,” we say, and dismiss them as dream killers even as we beg for their attention and mercy.

Publishers, pshaw!  We all know they hate writers and secretly delight in penning form rejection letters.

Self-pubbed?  Garbage.  All of them.

Or not.

As much as we hate to be stuffed into boxes, we should not seal another’s fate with packing tape and cardboard.  We need to remain open-minded and realize that it is the Few who give the bad name to the Many.

So, today, I ask that you break down the box and recycle it.  Let the non rule-breakers play ball.  Pick up a self-pubbed book with fresh eyes.  Encourage the newbie who might just know more than you.  And for heaven’s sake, don’t let a rejection by one agent/editor spoil your good will toward the others.

I’ll admit that I used to feel a fair amount of disdain toward Agent-Only publishing houses.  Then I learned a few things and realized just how much slush gets sent to agents and editors–and what that slush actually looks like.  My respect level rose tremendously.

I used to hate the whole vampire/werewolf thing.  Then I read Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce.  Uhm, definitely out-of-the-box-amazing.

When I was a kid, I thought teachers lived to make recess as boring as possible.  “Don’t run!”  “Don’t bounce that ball!”  “Stop swinging from that bar, you’ll break your leg.”  Seriously, what did they want from us?  A little Kum ba ya?  A coma…?

What are/were some of your preconceived notions about writing, publishing and literature?  Are the judgements fair, or is it time to rethink some things?

Curious minds want to know.

A look to the future.

I’ve always wanted to duct tape my kids.  I’ve threatened and teased, but in the end, I’ve never had the opportunity to use the all-purpose tape on them until now.  Suddenly, my future looks very bright.

Finally, disposable clothes!

Though not as bright as the outfits my DD and her BF are sporting for homecoming dress-up week.  Yep, that’s duct tape.  The silvery multi-purpose, fix-everything-from-books-to-tractors tape has a new look.

From tie-dyed to fluorescent, duct tape has an eye to the future–as should we. 

We can learn a lot from DT’s marketing department.  They didn’t stop at functional, but rather branched out to appeal to our aesthetics.   They hit a niche market I didn’t even know was out there.

I guess it’s really important for us to think outside the box and keep our eyes open for opportunity even if something seems absurd.  After all, I’m sure the rep who pitched colorful duct tape was laughed out of the room at first.

And now he’s the one laughing on the way to the bank.  Wonder if he’s the one who suggested Duct Tape clothing as a homecoming day?

As writers, we would do well to remember that our futures depend on our readers, whatever–or whoever–they may be.

Don’t just catch the trend.  Be the trend.

Are you bold enough to break outside the norm, or do you feel more comfortable writing about the tried and true?