Today, I have a simple message to deliver. It’s that simple, and yet… not. Writers write to be published, well, most of us, so we need an agent or a publisher. We constantly try to make our work stand out, to make it something someone will want to represent. There, of course, are the self-pubbed people, who are just cool, but they still live in the will-people-like-my-words world. I have listened to many people talk about what will get your book published. There is a writer in my writers’ group that talks about it all the time, talking about what we NEED to have in our manuscripts to get an agent or book deal. His head just works that way. Mine does not. I hear writers talk of changing their stories to fit what they think is selling, of not writing a book because the market won’t support it. This makes me sad. As a kid I fought to fit in, wanting desperately for people to like me. I tried to be different to make friends because let’s face it, I was (and still am) weird and no one would like me if they knew me. Don’t worry, I don’t think that anymore, but I don’t show the real me to just anyone. Not everyone appreciates the strangeness of me. However, the world needs it. I am on the Earth for a reason. We all are. And it’s not to be someone else. Really, do we need the stress of constantly thinking about what the world wants, about how we can fit in? Ideas on how to make my words better fill my mind at all times as it is, I don’t want anymore craziness in there. So… Next time you start thinking of redoing your entire ms in first person instead of third, because that’s what’s being published… Next time you take your shiny new vampire book idea and chuck it in the trash, because no one wants those… Next time you force kissing scenes into your book, because that’s what people want to read… Next time you add fighting scenes, action, danger, and, twisty-twists because that’s what puts books on a book store shelf… Listen to your voice, the voice of your ms. Trust your talent. Trust your mind. Your words will tell you what’s right. As soon as we start worrying and fighting ourselves, that’s when we fail. Following your heart might not get an agent, or a book deal right now. But I believe that it will. Remember, there is a market out there, certain things agents and publishers want. We can’t control that. But there are also people… readers, who read all sorts of things! So those books you want to write, but don’t? Yeah. Write them. Love them. Their turn will come. But you have to dig deep and find a bit of faith. Be who you are, not some version of yourself you think the world wants. That’s why we wander the planet, because the unique spark that is you is EXACTLY what the world needs. And because I gotta be me… May the 4th be with you!