I sat in a Mexican restaurant with my friend, late at night, drinking a beer. I told him about an idea I had and he remarked, “You take everything that everyone thinks is normal and turn it on it’s head. You really are a nonconformist.”
I wear it like a badge of honor.
When my wife and I were taking stock of my strengths and weaknesses recently, she really honed in on my knack for ideation and creative problem solving. Those that know me best know that I am often thinking “outside the box.” For me, this comes from being a nonconformist. I grew up in a way that kept me out of the mainstream. I was never popular and I never liked the popular thing. I listened to alternative music, hung out with an alternative crowd and had alternative political ideas… I didn’t fit in and I used it to my advantage in any way I could.
Nonconformity and innovation go hand-in-hand. So, what does this have to do with writing? Well, it’s a part of my creativity for sure. It probably contributes to my taste in art. But, it also gives me ways of inventing problems for my characters and then finding solutions to those problems.
It also means that all that writing advice that you can find all over the internet, I take with a grain of salt. It means my writing style is distinctly mine and doesn’t follow the “rules” that everyone says I ought to follow. My style is unconventional.
Allow me to share a quote with you:
Human progress is furthered, not by conformity, but by aberration. –H.L. Mencken
What are your thoughts about creativity, innovation and nonconformity? What do you think about writers who don’t follow the rules? Tell me what you think in comments.