He asks the reader to single out one trait that is most important for him or her to better understand, and to ask themselves if they need more of it? Less of it? Or does it depend?
I decided I needed to examine nonconformity. I feel so vanilla. But am I? On the outside, maybe. On the inside, not so much. Because I write for young adults, I decided to think about who I was when I was in high school.
In high school, when 498 students in my class of 500 bought Saddle Shoes because it was the latest trend, I didn’t, if only because everyone else did.
When girls ironed their hair to make it straight, I got a short curly perm—and took more teasing from adults than classmates!
I’m not writing a paranormal novel, but I “get” feeling so odd and different from the rest of humanity that I used to dream regularly that I was evil or bad. (Me? I’m as mild-mannered and unassuming as they come.) But I “get” a teen’s interest in the paranormal, as well as their feelings of alienation.
I never ran in the popular crowd. I had friends, but I never really ran in any crowd at all.
My husband once said I’m one of the strangest people he ever met. It was a compliment. We share an irreverent sense of humor.
Maisel says, “Powerful writers are always nonconformists and rebels. Writers who rebel the least may fit neatly into their society, but may not speak or know their minds.”
Where do you fit in the continuum between conformity and nonconformity? Are you able to know and speak your mind?
We’re here to contribute what is uniquely our own. Our honest self-expression is the greatest thing we have to give. Don’t be afraid to step forward and tell your truth.