Let’s be famous
We don’t really want to be bothered by paparazzi. But as it turns out, if we want to leave something useful behind, we probably need to say something meaningful, do that well so that many people hear us, and, of course, still pay the bills. Here’s my plan, what’s yours?
- Get over the writer’s block: Check. After a fall season of ‘blah blah trauma is bad’ where I was hearing and saying the same stuff, I needed a reboot. I got that in the form of a caffeine overloaded cardiac moment, complete with ER visit. That gets a person thinking about bucket lists. Trying not to pressure my kids about grandchildren, I woke on New Years Day with a slew of things to write about. What do you have to write about or talk about? What’s your specialty?
- Draw catchy pictures (optional): Working on it. Cartoons make a point. And they are good for SEO (search engine optimization). I have two graphic novellas, Love & Potions and Kim, Tearful on www.circlestretch.com. Still, my mentor Brian Fies ( Eisner award winner for Cancer Mom ) encouraged me to take more drawing lessons, stick to black on white, and use a marker for ‘commitment.’ So I took classes last fall and got a white board to practice, facing an existential fear that had me keeping every doodle. It’s progress.
- Practice: Anyone need a cheap keynote? Eventually I need to be worth enough to take time from work and expand when I eventually retire from practice.
- Never retire. My truth comes from doing real work with real families. I won’t have much to say if I quit. And this work takes decades to get good at, before that inevitable long slow decline. If and when I recognize the slippage, I’ll adjust my work and, later, get benched. I already have trouble rolling on the floor with kids. I’ve changed all my toys to ones that I can better defend myself from when they come flying ( there’s another blog post in the making). So there’s some more motivation to work on an encore career.
- Get known: The main strategy here is blog and help others so we all get to be better known. A recent three parter by Sima Gerber on Kidsattuned.com, a website by Barbara Kalmanson, promoted on the DIR research email list, was an obvious choice to tweet, post, and pin. Hoping they will do the same with mine. Mona Delahooke’s thevisableparent.com is another great one. I broke 400 on twitter followers recently. @jdfeder Follow me! Getting known takes time.
- Persist: At a panel talk on positive psychology in evidence based practice, a brilliant workshop with Alan Schlechter, he evoked as much as explained it. My ah ha moment was embracing my persistence. I’m hoping it’s not mere perseveration on a hopeless pursuit. Of course that’s the thing with our work, whether supporting people with neurodevelopmental conditions or people impacted by conflict: we have to persist and the only guarantee is that not trying results in failure.
- Find the fun: Someone said a good job needs to be something you are good at, something that feeds you, and something that’s fun ( broadly conceptualized ). You may be bored reading this and I might lack the talent to reach fame, but, at least in a neurotically satisfying manner, releasing pent up tension after a writing drought and a scary life event, I’m having fun.
- Stay connected: See you on the other side. Let’s all still try to answer fan mail!Lead pix from Bitstrips – make easy Avatars and comics and emojis!
Joshua Feder, M.D.
Dr. Feder's Blog