by Cheri Chesley
With the passing of Steve Jobs yesterday, many people will be looking inward today. It's human nature to reflect on your own life when confronted with the limits of mortality. He was described, among other things, as a visionary. He made great strides forward in his industry, introducing products and technology that most of us hadn't even considered.
Not every likes a visionary. They most often come across people who don't understand their methods, or thought processes, and dismiss them as insignificant. Worse, they can be persecuted for that they believe, or what they are trying to accomplish.
Mr. Jobs was lucky enough (and by lucky I mean hard-working and determined enough) to find success in his field. My field, as a writer, is considerably different. Am I a visionary writer?
I have a driving need to do things my way. That doesn't mean it's "my way or the highway" because I do listen to other people's opinions and ideas, but I adapt what works for me to fit my mold and ideals. I've stretched my comfort zone so much it's barely recognizable, and I still find myself doing things I wouldn't have dreamed of speaking up about a few years ago. The thing is, I've found my path--what I truly love--and there is no going back.
But what about all those rules about writing and publishing? you ask. One person I heard once said that you need to know the rules so that you understand what you are doing when you break them. And working within certain rules doesn't make you less of a visionary. Mr. Jobs had to work within some rules to achieve his successes. He couldn't, for instance, violate the rules of logic or physics to create.
I submit that using the rules is not the same as being bound to them. Especially with writing and publishing, since the rules are subject to change at a moment's notice.
I'll be frank. I don't really consider myself a visionary writer. I have goals, and dreams, and ideals, but I don't know if that makes me a visionary. Do I have the drive to pursue my dream no matter what? Yes. Is it my true path? Yes. Is it what I love. YES.
Are you a visionary?