Daniel (Danny) Lance Wright, Author

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Contrarian

I’ve always been one and never realized it, until I received the latest publisher rejection letter. And, I’m not sure whether I need to hang my head in shame or stand proudly and wear it like a badge of honor.

Okay, that’s enough set-up suspense. I’m referring to the fact that I am a contrarian.

Reflection on it began when a Houston publisher sent me a very nice rejection letter on a manuscript I’d queried him on. He complimented the writing, the structure and the style and then he let the bomb fall by stating he didn’t think it would sell. That began a rampant flow of analytical juices flowing through my brain.

I’ve always been told to write what I know about. I’ve been doing that; and did on that particular manuscript, too. But, if it won’t sell, what’s the point... personal satisfaction? Here’s where my drummer splits from the parade and heads out alone; you know, that different drummer we always hear about.
When I first began writing novels, working with things I had knowledge of actually never crossed my mind as the intelligent choice. I just did it, but for a totally different reason than you might imagine. It was a conscious choice to not write another military, detective, cop, espionage, or medical thriller. There are many fine authors that are all over those genres and, at any given time, half or more are on the New York Times Best Seller List. Smart money said do it. But, I had to be the contrarian and take my chances in less plowed fields.

Once I figured out that that choice would likely keep me on the verge of destitution, it became clear that I’ve always had a penchant for going against the norm. That was not an isolated case.

If everyone is cheering one team, I’m quietly rooting for the other. If market advisers are saying some stock is the buy of the century, I’m looking at a little known competitor struggling to stay in business (I’ve lost lots of money thinking that way). At a party, when all the guys were buzzing around some blonde chick like green flies on a manure heap, I drifted over to the girl standing alone and appearing amazed by the pattern on the wallpaper. I could go on but I think you get the point.

So, you see, this behavior is nothing new. It’s just that I’ve finally realized it and in the process of accepting it. I, honestly, have risked too much in my life harboring opposing views and, sometimes for no good reason. Still, I’ve come to believe it’s not what I am but who I am. Is that so bad?

I do realize now that if I’d chosen to go along with popular beliefs more frequently in my life, I may have been driving a luxury car and living in an expensive loft somewhere by now. I suppose though, if I’m going to be a contrarian, I might as well be the best one I can be.

Daniel (Danny) Lance Wright
Author of
"Paradise Flawed"/Dream Books LLC/2009
"Six Years' Worth"/Father's Press/2007
"The Last Radiant Heart"/Virtual Tales/August 2010
"Where Are You, Anne Bonny?"/Rogue Phoenix Press/ ebook available now 2010
“Trouble”, short story/CrossTIME Science Fiction Anthology, Vol. IX

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