Change the World 2013 Blogger’s Conference: A Follow-Up on Shifting the Paradigm

(Blogger‘s Note: To see the original post about this conference gathering of like-minded individuals see http://wp.me/p2bjEC-oF and I encourage you to repost if you know of others who may be interested. ~ steve)

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A few days ago I was thinking about the potential wordpress.com would have if they offered an assembly of bloggers. Averaging half a million posts each day, they’ve created one of the most powerful communication mediums on the planet. How magnificent would it be if they organized a “conference” to further educate their users and brainstorm the possibilities?

Then I thought about it some more.

One of the things I admire most about wordpress.com is their low-key approach to organization and putting the tools in OUR hands to allow us to become better than we actually are. It would seem to fit with their “corporate” identity that they would never desire to organize such an effort.

I get that. I admire that.

But it’s still a laughable dream of mine that such a gathering would come to pass.

So what to do?

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What if the good people at wordpress.com were just waiting for someone out there in the blogosphere to get the ball rolling? Have they been sitting around a virtual conference table just wondering if they provided all the tools that someone out there would initiate such a thing?

Have they been sending us subliminal messages that such a thing would be good, and wondering who would become the First Follower inviting others to The Dance?

That was my conclusion, anyway.

Please take three minutes to view this video:

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PARADIGM SHIFT: a radical change in underlying beliefs or theory.

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There are certain things in this world that we unfortunately accept:

  • Government handouts (in the U.S.) are the solution to an impoverished life.
  • X number of children will be raised in foster care.
  • Some people will never read.
  • Hunger, for some, is a fact of life.
  • Government is broken and unfixable.
  • Warlords will continue to proliferate in the drug world and young children will be enlisted to fight for their cause.
  • The church, as we know it, is withering on the vine.
  • There will always be those without homes, living on the street.
  • International adoption is far too bureaucratic to pursue.

Those are just a few.

What if a MOVEMENT were established by a small group of committed people to shift one or more of those paradigms?

I invite you to consider these things further and contemplate the proposal published yesterday at http://wp.me/p2bjEC-oF. We’ve already seen a fair degree of interest from that initial post, but I’d like to give adequate time for you to consider this opportunity.

The world’s greatest movements have arisen from a plethora of emotions: compassion, outrage, a higher calling…but mostly they start with a simple step of faith. Consider joining me in that first step.

I admire the work of so many of you who are out there, and can’t help but believe we can pool our collective talents to do something significant. Give it some thought and feel free to contact me at stevewatkins71@yahoo.com

Together, I believe we can do something that’s crazy good.

Very sincerely yours,

Steve Watkins

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How to Write Copy That Kills: Part 5: Pursue

“Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way.” ~ Booker T. Washington

The PURSUIT of the goal of excellent writing is publishing. I can share 90 percent of the formula for pursuit with you in one word:

RELATIONSHIPS.

Some of the best writers/artists in the world have gone unnoticed for years. Some just went ahead and died to get published.

I’m trying not to go that route.

So you’re writing killer copy and the phone’s not ringing? Email comes up blank? Twitter isn’t tweeting your way?

The first most important relationship in my writing life, and all the rest of it for that matter, Dana.

  • Recognize your existing relationships.
  • Enhance those existing relationships.
  • Forge new relationships every day.

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RECOGNIZE YOUR EXISTING RELATIONSHIPS.

Begin with your inner-most circle of friends. They can’t write a book for you, and they probably can’t give you advice that amounts to squat. But they’re your support team. A few people are always there for you – through everything. A writer’s life pursued to the fullest is chaos. You need those people. Hang on to them.

Then move to the outer circle. I have about 800 Facebook friends, 130 blog followers, 150 followers on Twitter and about as many on Linked-In. Most of these people I don’t know well. Some of them are distantly casual “virtual” friends. Others are professionals in my field. Occasionally, they “like” my work and pass it on for others to read. That’s invaluable.

ENHANCE THOSE EXISTING RELATIONSHIPS.

I’m currently about 60 percent through the first-draft manuscript of my first non-fiction book, Light Wins. About 25 percent of that book (its flesh: see this post: http://wp.me/p2bjEC-kE) is told through the stories of real people who were tragically wounded by “religion.” They experienced a metaphorical Darkness some of us will never know, but the metaphorical Light healed them. Most of those stories come from people who live within 20 miles of my home. And that’s not a matter of convenience. Their stories are incredibly powerful. It just turned out to be convenient because I listened to what they were saying and their trust in me gave me the privilege of conducting some magnificently productive interviews.

Build those relationships.

At any given moment I may “like” or comment on someone’s social media post. They may only know me by a simple profile picture, but if I genuinely care enough about what’s on their mind, maybe they’ll be inquisitive enough about me to learn more. And maybe one day, one of those folks will be a powerful agent.  Or maybe she’ll be an established author who would endorse my book. You just never know.

The second most important relationship in my writing life – my editor, Brad Harris (left).

FORGE NEW RELATIONSHIPS EVERY DAY.

This only makes sense right?

All of us are trying to get attention in a world where communication moves nearly at the speed of light. Twitter blows me away. Those people who have 30,000 followers and follow another 30,000 and have made 50,000 tweets … what else do they do? It’s the fastest moving medium I’ve ever seen. I tweet, but I don’t have time to manage a lot on Twitter. It’s somewhat useful, at best – for me, that is.

Sometimes you have to break the rules. I did it today. I have one non-fiction literary agent who I REALLY want to represent me. I follow her every way imaginable. I’ve submitted the query with all the dotted i’s and crossed t’s. But I’ve gotten impatient. I’ve made a subtle follow-up, (big no-no) and when one of her colleagues made her own blog post today on the topic of “How Do You Get Noticed By An Agent who has the strictest of rules, I commented and told her I’d followed the rules … so why don’t you just tell her to pick up the phone and give me a call?

So we’ll see about that. I’ll let you know if it works.

But just maybe, my approach was radical enough to get noticed and forge a new relationship.

One final note.

ABOUT BURNING BRIDGES.

I hate it. It goes against everything my logical self believes, but I’ve done it, and probably will again.

We’re a passionate people, we writers, aren’t we?

We’re artists and scientists of the world. We invest ourselves radically in what we do. So if you burn me, and it REALLY stings, I’ll burn the bridge. You go your way and I’ll go mine. We’ll probably cross paths again, and it’ll be awkward, but I probably won’t stand in the distant corner, just because you’re in the room.

I’m not offering this as advice. Do it if you must. Just be careful.

The pursuit of greatness has a lot to do with relationships.

To see other posts in this series, you may view:

OBSERVE @ http://wp.me/p2bjEC-kf

THINK @ http://wp.me/p2bjEC-kE

PLAN @ http://wp.me/p2bjEC-m2

WRITE @ http://wp.me/p2bjEC-nE

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