Last week, I made available my first ebook – Your Glass of Life: Growing. Social media instigated it. Although my life and thoughts are in the words, it came together by getting involved with Twitter and engaging fully in what this community offers.
Here is the story of how Your Glass of Life came together.
Last year, I started my Thin Difference Twitter account and profile. I was completely surprised and amazed by the people and the ideas flowing through this communication channel. Twitter opened my mind and created a spark inside. To be wholly honest, it revived me; it woke up creativity inside of me and made it okay to open up through my writing.
And, this is when the steps began to unfold.
One of the characters I found through Twitter was Hugh MacLeod. I signed up for his daily cartoons and received a daily insight and a poignant laugh. Through this engagement, I learned of his forthcoming book, Evil Plans, pre-ordered it, and later received my first gapingvoid print, which is proudly hanging on my office wall.
I read Evil Plans on a flight to Orlando, and it inspired the writing of Your Glass of Life. I gained so much from the simplicity of his book. It also said to me that you don’t have to be complicated in your messaging to deliver a message.
Intersections in life happen, and this was one of them.
I had been working on a new youth leadership program, and it has had its ups and downs. In truth, the ups were how it was received by teens; the downs were how adults became the barriers. With the thoughts of how to instill in our teens the thought that they need to have a leadership attitude when making choices in their young lives is essential. Today, teens have so many more choices to make than ever before, and we fail them in providing greater guidance, a foundation.
By reading Evil Plans and thinking about teens and their lives, the script for Your Glass of Life magically popped out of me as a simple story, using a glass as a metaphor to think about a growing life.
Then, part two happened. I began participating in Tweet Chats. One of the first ones I participated in was #ideachat. #ideachat is led by Angela Dunn (aka @blogbrevity), and it is a monthly chat focused on creativity, innovation, and ideas. I loved it!
Here is what happened in my first #ideachat; I met an artist, Alison Jardine, and she lived probably 20 miles from me. We started following each other on Twitter. From this, I became familiar with her wonderful art.
After I had completed the book, I knew I needed great images to make it all work. I sent a direct message through Twitter to Alison, asking if she ever thought about doing an ebook, so we met for coffee to discuss.
Sometimes when we reach out to people we find out how close they really.
The final Twitter point of stepping out came with Ignite Dallas. In my Twitter stream of conversations, I learned of Ignite Dallas. Ignite is a program/venue in which you can apply to give a 5 minute presentation. You have 5 minutes and 20 slides to deliver a message. Each slide is timed at 15 seconds, and it then moves to the next.
I applied and was accepted. What Ignite Dallas did was enable me to step out into something completely new and different for me. It was getting out of my comfort zone. I have delivered presentations and talks before, but nothing close to this. It was a moment of transition, embracing uncertainty and moving forward.
This is the story of how Twitter inspired my first book.
During the last eight months, much has happened in my life, no different than anyone else. There have been rolling roads of highs and lows; there have been tragic headlines that dropped on my family’s lap; and there have been recoveries and moments of inspiration to savor in amazement and gratitude.
The point is that Twitter is a community, built for interaction and engagement. It also is a community to spark ideas, inspiration, and action within each of us. I am very grateful for the Twitter community in so many, many ways. Thank you!
How has Twitter engaged you? What have you been inspired to do by interacting with others through Twitter?