I had never heard about Sharknado! until I saw a Facebook post from Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing about what writers can learn from it.
The link led to a blog post by Kristin Lamb, titled What SHARKNADO Can Teach Us About Writing.
In her post, Ms. Lamb mentions having met Anne Rice, who was told her story about vampires would never sell. Fortunately, Anne didn't listen--she listened to her heart instead. It launched not only the book but also her career, not to mention numerous other vampire novels, one of which was my own Reflections of a Vampire.
One of my favorite parts of Ms. Lamb's post is when she says:
This is one of the reasons I LOVE the new paradigm. Instead of relying on bean-counters running numbers to predict the human heart, we can just put our work out there and allow chemistry to ignite if it’s meant to be.
Instantly my writer-ears went, "New paradigm? She said 'new paradigm'!"
And then my heart did the happy-dance -- this is how I write! It is exactly why I write what I write: because I am following my heart, my Muses, some inner prompting that says This is the story you're supposed to write, now.
Regardless of trends. Regardless of forecasts. Regardless of marketing strategies, or statistics, or number-crunching. Regardless of whether anyone else is writing it or not!
Someone, somewhere will resonate with my story. Someone will find inspiration in what I have to say. Or, rather, what my story people have to say. Because I let them do all the talking - I take dictation.
Are you a writer? Have you struggled with what you want to write vs. "the trends," or what publishers are trying to dictate? Have you found the courage to follow your own path?
It takes a lot of trust to take your hands off the wheel and just go with what you're being given. Even after nine years of NaNoWriMo (this coming November will be my 10th year), I still have to practice. Like a ballet dancer, or a martial artist, I "come to class" with what I hope is Beginner's Mind, ready to surrender to the creative process and get myself out of the way. So many times I want to jump in and make the characters do this or that, or not do this or that, but they insist, we struggle, and then they win. Every time.
And I'm glad . . . most of the time. (There are still times I'm not happy with the character's choices. I'm working on trying to see his/her point of view.)
So really, this article about Sharknado! and writing is a kind of validation, for me and all the writers who dare to blaze their own trail, to defy what all the writing books say you have to do, especially with regard to publishing. It's pretty darn scary just trusting your writer's gut and going for it, despite what others think. And then putting it out there, all by your lonesome, wearing all the hats for now until enough Someones take interest in your trust-offerings that you can afford to hire someone to do the covers and the editing and the marketing so you can focus on what you do best: write. From the heart. Full time.
It's an adventurous, scary path, but a fun one. Even if you're not a writer, there's probably something you've always wanted to do in your life that "bucks the trend," goes against what your mother or father or society insists you should do. Why don't you give it a try? Maybe that's the reason you're here -- your special gift to the world. Your own special twist, combining tornadoes and sharks, that will make someone say, Wow! How cool is that? I never would've thought of doing it that way.
And then you can say, That's right. Because you're not me. :)
© 2016 Karen R Thorne | All Rights Reserved