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Be Ridiculous

I’ve been reading a lot of words of wisdom from soccer stars lately. Weird only because I’ve never seen a full game of soccer in my life. But these superstars and their words really resonate with me, especially those from Abby Wambach, “If they say you’re ridiculous you know you’re on to something.”

This is a variation of something I’ve always said about book publishing. You need to push outside the boundaries of what’s expected if you want to achieve true success.

Be Ridiculous

One of the downsides of critique groups and writing organizations is their propensity to preach some archaic set of rules that I’d never heard of until I talk to authors who have been constrained by them.

When someone tells you your idea is ridiculous, or even writing a book at all is ridiculous, you know you’re on to something. Being ridiculous is what separates the good from the truly great.

It’s also what pushes people to do things they’ve never done before. If you can face the ridiculous critics (see what I did there) you can face the real critics.

Don’t be afraid to be ridiculous. Write that story the way you think it’s meant to be written. If it feels ridiculous to you then maybe it’s not working, but don’t let someone else decide what is.

Imagine if someone told me that the idea of BookEnds was ridiculous. Oh wait, someone did. Being ridiculous sure feels good.

And if you haven’t yet read Wolfpack by Abby Wambach or One Life by Megan Rapinoe I strongly recommend them. Even if you don’t consider yourself a soccer fan.

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One comment

  1. That truly IS wisdom! And I agree with it. I have always had the greatest respect for the way you started your own agency and made it work.

    OTOH conventional wisdom states that if an author expects to find an agent / be traditionally published, they need to be careful to write only what big publishing companies are certain will sell (or else be prepared to become a marketing mogul in addition to writing, because the only option for someone who doesn’t fit inside a conventional box is to self-publish.) How do you believe an author might balance these two concepts? That’s something I’d love to see you and James address in a video!

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