Color Outside the Lines

Colored pencils

As a kid, I was constantly in trouble for coloring outside the lines.


Hard as I tried to stay within the confines, somehow a little pink here or a little green there would end up beyond the borders of where I was supposed to be coloring.

For a while, I just quit coloring at all because the reprimands of coloring where I wasn’t supposed to got old. And tiring. And depressing.

And you really shouldn’t be depressed when you’re six.

It took a while, but I finally realized it was my picture, my project, and I could color it however I liked. If I went outside the lines, then so be it. If I used different colors, oh well. It was my picture to color – all mine.

Of course, I think I was  in college doing my Friday babysitting job when this revelation came to me. But at least it finally came!

My point of the rambling about my childhood struggles with coloring, is that as writers – creative thinkers –  sometimes we have to color outside the lines.

Just because something has a rigid boundary, doesn’t mean we can’t extend a little color beyond the borders.

Just because someone tells you something has to be done a certain way because it has always been done that way doesn’t mean you can’t dare to do something different.

Especially in the world of self-publishing where the landscape changes on a daily basis.

Go ahead, dig down deep in that box of crayons to those little used colors and use them any way you like.

Color off the grid.

Use a wealth of colors.

While you’re doing that, those naysayers who stay inside the lines will miss out. With their focus so intently set on the lines, they won’t ever see the beautiful big picture right in front of them.

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