Hello, My Name Is…

“Hello, my name is JuliaDAlexander
and I’m new to Twitter…”

A lot of writers make the claim, “I’m a newbie” when talking
about Twitter and other social websites.  As a fellow “noob” I’m learning as I go and seeing
the proof of things I’ve picked up at conferences and writing blogs about
building your platform through social media. It’s exciting, frustrating and
illuminating.  Some of the stuff I’m
learning, I wish I’d known as the awkward junior high student I was a long time
ago in a galaxy far, far away.  I’m sure
I’d have been slightly less …awkward.

I read a great post (found through twitter from @JeffGoins) by
Emilie over at puttylike.com.  She
spotlights a story shared by a commenter on a previous post she’d written on
bullying. It’s a thorny subject to me, as I experienced (and , admittedly, dished
out) some of the same kind of pain in my day. Mike’s take on bullying – and he
learned it while he was still in school! – was so admirable, so enlightening, I’ve
got to share it. And I’d like to add a thought of my own, too.

Here’s the link: http://puttylike.com/fell-in-love-with-a-girl/.
Go, read it, then come back here. Go on. I’ll wait 😉

Okay. Wasn’t that a mature, uplifting way to look at the Beautiful
People in your school? Instead of envying the “haves,” Mike learned to find
specialness inside his own head and spirit. Instead of longing for a
relationship he couldn’t have, he built strong ones with people who shared his
interests and outlook. Instead of actively hating on someone who probably didn’t
even know his name, he let her go in peace and put his brain power to better,
more uplifting tasks.

Refreshing, isn’t it?

Wish I’d have learned that when I was throwing daggers with
my eyes at all the people I IMAGINED were my enemies.

Here’s the thing, though – and while “Mike” alludes to this,
I’d like to emphasize it – not only may those who’ve endured suffering become the
deepest, most interesting people… some of the greatest works of art throughout
history came from these kinds of people.
Dig into the background of one of your favorite musicians, painters,
writers, etc. and chances are good you’ll discover a dark element to their
past. People who’ve suffered and grown through it have something to say. And
usually find some way to say it!

So, if you are one of those tortured, bruised and beaten
souls… First, make it through. Find someone to talk to. If you seek those who
love and care for you and then OPEN UP, you WILL make it, I can guarantee. Don’t
suffer in silence. People love you. You CAN do this.

Second, when you are in the right place, and you are strong
enough…  Write it. Paint it. Scream it
into the recording software you got for Christmas. Jam it on a guitar. Bang it
on a piano. But get it down, somehow.

Because someone somewhere needs YOUR ART to tell them, “You
are not alone.”


“So, what are you working on?”

You walk in, punch your floor number and just as the doors close, the Big Name Agent speaking at the writer’s conference you’re attending steps over the threshold to join you.  Big Name Agent turns to you and says, “So, what are you working on?”

You? Break out in a cold sweat.  Yeah – you’ve got less than a minute or two to convey your entire opus in the span of an elevator ride and you stammer, “Uh, uhm, well, see there’s this girl…”

That’s right. The dreaded “Elevator Pitch!” Have you figured yours out yet?

Here’s mine: A girl in Juvenile Detention for a crime she didn’t commit fights to escape and uncovers the truth about the Sheriff who put her there.

Story Title: Hell on Wheels

It took me most of seven months to come up with that one. Seven months for so few words. But that’s what it’s all about isn’t it? Fine tuning, cutting to the bone, smelting away all the excess until you’re left with concentrated writerly goodness. (I’d like to tweak mine still…)

Are you afraid of the Elevator Pitch? Have you tried to come up with one and given up? Or do you have a killer pitch you’re just itching to try out?