(adjective) | un·or·tho·dox | ˌən-ˈȯr-thə-ˌdäks
contrary to what is usual, traditional, or accepted | not orthodox
We all should be more unorthodox.
Be inventive. Take risks. Love, nay embrace, a good chance. Have flair. Be zesty. Do spicy.
Grow rainbow corn instead of plain ol’ yellow corn.
Be willing to do unorthodox when you aren’t sure how it’ll turn out.
I’ve been unorthodox in writing and failed miserably. I tried a new writing style for one of my stories I had published in a newspaper and an editor told me to never do that again. I learned from it.
But I didn’t quit taking risks as a writer.
Sometimes I made up words and it worked. Like the time I described a remote Oregon town as the place where the outskirts and “inskirts” are the same thing. Or the time I described a FEMA siren to alert a central Oregon community a nearby dam was failing as Volkswagen “Beetle-esque” in its lack of din, if not outright clamor. Apparently FEMA didn’t really want people to be alerted. I still remember laughing as I watched a county official take out his earplugs and squint and strain to hear the town-saving “siren.”
William O. Douglas, who served on the U.S. Supreme Court longer and wrote more opinions than anyone, had this to say about being unorthodox: “The great and invigorating influences in American life have been the unorthodox: the people who challenge an existing institution or way of life, or say and do things that make people think.”
So go be unorthodox.
The world needs you.