When I turned pro and started meeting other people in the business, I had big problems fitting in. I didn't have the clothes, the personality, the schmooze gene, the gossip addiction or the desire to get sloshed at every con. I had no writer aura or professional vocabulary. I never learned the correct posture or position. I also seemed to offend every other person I met (but that happened with non-writers too, so no big surprise there.)
It bothered me to feel inept at my new profession, so I made a real effort to fit in. I did what the established pros told me to. I shopped and I dressed up. I circulated, booksigned, bookmarked/postcarded/flyered and critiqued grouped. In one year, I did three different con circuits. I volunteered. I raised money for charity. I was a good industry person, and totally miserable.
There are things involved with publishing, things you don't know about until you're a part of it, that just flabbergasted me. One non-writer member of my writer organization had this hobby of calling new members at home and informing them of the dirt on everyone else in the organization. Not casual gossip, either -- this was vicious, gleefully delivered, utterly hateful stuff, all delivered with the sort of relish that turns your stomach. No matter how I tried to change the subject, the yoyo wouldn't stop. At the end of my rope, I asked my colleagues what I could do, but everyone said I had to put up with it or I'd offend the yoyo, which would have dire career consequences (and, being a rookie, I believed this bullshit.) So I put up with this for better part of a year, and to this day I am so sorry I didn't just tell the yoyo to piss off and change my phone number.
I wasted two years of my life doing things I usually hated, among people with whom for the most part I had absolutely nothing in common except a profession, for the sake of my career. I think I made every mistake a new writer can make. I'm also pretty sure that I invented a few new ones. Under the circumstances, I think folks in publishing made a truly heroic effort in putting up with me that long.
What I did learn is that trying to fit in when you can never fit in doesn't work, and it makes you hate yourself. I almost quit writing -- my dream profession, that I've worked toward my entire life -- because I failed so miserably at playing author. It was only when I stopped and got away from the industry glam-lovers that I realized that writing, not publishing, was the only career I wanted. Writing is everything. Publishing just bankrolls me.
One more thought for the misfits out there reading this: if you don't fit in, don't sweat it. It's easier to make your own place in publishing than to force yourself into someone else's concept of how it should be. It can be lonely, yes, but that's part of the real job. In time, you may find that you attract more like-minded people by standing apart from the herd rather than hiding yourself among them.