You have big dreams, audacious goals, and a game-changing vision. (You’re not the only one.)
You’ve had setbacks and faced disappointment along the way. There have been lots of maybes and almosts, in between sly and even scathing rejection. (Trust me, you’re not the only one.)
You know you have talent. You’ve worked hard to hone your craft and sharpen your skills. If that shiny company, that prestigious school, that elite community could just recognize your potential, if they could give you one shot, you know you can make a difference in your life, for your family, for your community. Maybe even the world at large. (But you’re not the only one.)
You are Miles Morales. So am I.
Spider-Man: Across the Spiderverse, is arguably one of the best films of the year, which is honestly an understatement. The graphics and the art are a feast for the eyes. The music is “playlist on repeat"-worthy. But the story is what truly makes the film a masterpiece. I’ve never felt so triggered, so inspired, so seen.
Growing up, I always knew I wanted to be an author. I just had to follow the right pattern to be successful. Right?
Step one: Move to New York City and learn from all the publishing experts and literary greats.
Step Two: Write my stories to fit the industry’s standards.
Step Three: Query, get a literary agent, and hope to find a publisher.
Thankfully, I had a Hobie of sorts in my own life.
When I shared my dream of writing and my intention to move to the Big Apple, my dad asked, “ Why don’t you bring New York to you? Why don’t you self-publish? Do it yourself.”
I didn’t know all the heartache and struggle many authors of color faced even after they managed to successfully publish through mainstream outlets, at least, not until after I took the leap of faith into indie publishing in 2020. Let’s just say the status quo is appealing on the outside looking in, but all that glitters is not gold.
Still, no matter where we find ourselves, we all have our real-life Miguel O’Haras.
They will tell you to stick to the canon. They will minimize your achievements as accidental or luck.
They will say you are an anomaly, that you don’t belong.
They will see your presence as a threat, even when you shrink yourself to accommodate their narrow standards just to belong.
I’ve learned that rejection is a good thing. Every no, every closed door can lead to greater, more satisfying opportunities and experiences, if you allow it. Not everyone will see your vision.
Not everyone will recognize your talent.
But don’t make their opinion your reality.
You are not a mistake.
You do have value.
You do belong—even if you have to create your own space.
Realize that even if those shiny doors and windows of opportunity seem closed, there is still a world of possibilities.
If nothing else, remember: one man’s anomaly is a hero for another ‘verse.
You look like a hero to me, and you are not alone.
Across the Spider-Verse had some great Spidey representation, featuring heroes with similar experiences but unique expressions and styles. The same can be said for the community we're building. Stand and be counted. We need your brand of hero.
Hero roll call: Say hello in the comments, and share who your favorite Spider-Verse character is.
Keep it Konkret!
About Montrez, Contributor
Montrez is a sci-fi and fantasy author, a freelance editor, and blogger passionate about celebrating and amplifying BIPOC and indie voices in the bookish and blerd community.
Visit her website for more on her books and editing services at https://www.authormontrez.com/links .
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