I think we all secretly, or not so secretly, want to be this: a person whose words or actions influence the people around us. Maybe we want that in a small way. Maybe we want to influence the world. I recently came across this video that talks about who the influencers are in society today, and they are all creative people. People who don’t work at a cubicle, or grade test scores. They are people who are daring. They do something new. And always because they are completely convinced of it. Influencers aren’t timid. Fear doesn’t stop them. Which isn’t to say that they don’t feel fear. I’m sure they do. They’re human. But somehow they seem a little bigger than the regular human, no? Obama. Jay-Z. Madonna (remember her?). Marilyn. King. Jobs. Goodall. GaGa. Every name is provocative because they come with a series of associations. They provoke an emotion, good or bad, they stand for something for nearly every person who hears the name. Even in book publishing: Meyer. That’s a lightning rod these days. How many vampire books/movies/tv shows have come after her?
So the question is, how do you, as a writer, or an artist, become an influencer? It’s not teachable. It may be solely a personality thing. It may be a matter of luck and timing. It may be a matter of hard work. It’s most likely a combination of all of those. But the most important thing about an influencer, is that s/he is someone who does something new. Or takes something old and makes it new in some way. Watching the video, someone talked about Ted Talks. “You hear someone speak and it’s the first time you’ve heard that.”
If you can do that… then you’re exactly where you need to be.