I was fortunate enough to attend a Social Media Breakfast at which the wonderful Julia Rosien spoke about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and general social media presence for businesses. Even though I’m
not a start-up, or a business, or even a small business, there was one point in her talk where a light bulb went off in my head. It was not so much a “Eureka!” as it was an “Ah ha!” (there’s a difference). It was the moment where I finally realized exactly what problem I was trying to solve.
Part of my recent foray into the social media world is to network, be more involved, and better enjoy and appreciate my community and the people within it. In addition to that, I’ve been trying to establish (for lack of a better phrase) a fan base. A readership, if you will.
You see, there are stories I want to tell, and as much as I say I would get all the satisfaction I require out of simply writing them down, I know that’s not true. I want people to read them, and the best way I can come up with for getting someone to read something you’ve written is write something that they actually want to read.
That statement, along with the feedback from my last post, convinced me that I would continue to blog about anything and everything I wanted to, but I would hereinafter do it with my senses more aware of what was going on around me. Further to that, it brought be back to a conversation I had with a good friend of mine about a screenplay I was writing.
He asked me why I wasn’t writing it as a book and I didn’t have a good answer. It’s just always been a movie to me. Every story I have ever told has been a movie (in my mind at least). Any story I would ever want to tell would be a movie. Only it’s not a movie. That’s not what the search box in my brain is telling me. It’s a book. And now that I know that much, so much more is becoming clear. Ideas and character development and plot points are pouring out of me like some literary keg with a broken tap.
Twitter allows me to completely immerse myself with wonderfully interesting and amazing people who are willing to share their thoughts and ideas and feedback candidly and honestly. Twitter can be remarkably useful, if you choose to use it to accomplish something useful.
In order for me to do this I have uncovered some very important rules:
- Pay attention
- Go outside your comfort zone
- Allow yourself to be wrong
- Allow others to be right
- Allow yourself to be heard
- Allow others to be heard first
When I got to sit in a room with a hundred people from Twitter you could just sense that there were more ideas than people sitting there with you. It was as if just being around awesome people allowed all kinds of ideas to form. Ideas aren’t just born out of the ether though, not even the ones accompanied by a “Eureka!”
I would argue that there are very few ideas that live within a single mind that ever make it out into the world. Certainly the ones that do are memorable – the heliocentric model of the solar system and E=MC² are two that immediately come to mind – but even both of those needed a little help from others before making their impact. They needed to be challenged and shared with a larger community before they would realize their full potential.
The seeds for a good many ideas – the good ones at least – are often planted deep within the mind, and then cultivated as their host explores and interacts with the world and people around them. It can hardly be considered a surprise when really great ideas come from people who not only are great or aspire to be great, but who also surround themselves with greatness.
If all else fails hunt it down ruthlessly and don’t give up. Greatness will be yours.