Friday, October 14, 2011

The Apple of My Eye

by Shannon Milholland, Social Media Director

The passing of Steve Jobs has made a profound mark on our country. Few individuals effect as much change in as few years as he. He revolutionized the way we interact and made our planet several sizes smaller through radical technological advances.

I wonder if we've contemplated our ability to go radical. Do we want to leave an indelible imprint like Steve Jobs? Or will we be a mere ripple in the waters that vanishes as quickly as it appears? As writers, we can take several cues from Steve Jobs which will catapult our impact from marginal to Apple.

Imagine

Steve saw the world from a different perspective. He contemplated things as they could be instead of how they are. We can read a book on platform growth and implement every strategy but if we don't know why we're doing the things we are, it's fruitless. 

Imagination is valuable for far more than characters and plot lines. We must envision our goal. Once we know where we are headed, our tweets, blog entries and Facebook posts take on purpose that reflects our passion. Imagine your writing career as you desire it to be and then plot a straightline path to it.

Innovate

Steve didn't just see the world different, he made the world different. As I survey the blogosphere and the book market in general I see a lot of the same. Everyone wants to write in the hot new genre. Writers flock to the latest posting trend. What if we decided to innovate instead of imitate?

Could you create a new writing niche? Might you be the first to crown Sundays as Soze Sundays and start a trend of concocting an entire story line in 30 minutes or less from a single object of inspiration? (Side note: Reference here the 1995 movie hit The Usual Suspects, in which the main character creates an elaborate lie on the fly based on the name Soze printed on the china cup the detective is holding.) 

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. How would you like to be the one flattered for a change? Become an innovator.

Inspire

Steve Job's most significant impact might be his ability to inspire. Not only did he create and design the inconceivable, he influenced others to implement his dreams.

We wield the mightiest of weapons - the written word. It is powerful and effective but only when used to inspire others. Throughout history novels such as Uncle Tom's Cabin have shaped the course of history. It wasn't enough for Harriet Beecher Stowe to dream of a climate shift in America, she had to write the words that enacted change.

You may be like me and be tempted by the low-hanging fruit of a one-size-fits-all platform. When we choose to imagine, innovate and inspire we spring from bottom dweller to top picker. In other words, we become the apple of our eyes.

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