So the gym where I sweat plays ESPN without the sound on, but I didn’t need any sound to watch Tim Tebow‘s press conference.
He is excited to be a New York Jet. Very, very excited.
So excited, he said variations on “excited” 4.5 bazillion times.
ESPN kept a tally. Watch it:
Now, that’s funny.
HOWEVER: there’s a serious point to be made here.
“Excited” isn’t a bad word to have attached to your name. Yes, if you say it 45-flipping times, people will make fun of you on TV, on the radios and in papers of news. The word, though, isn’t horrible. And it fits Tebow, who is — all controversy aside (can he pass the ball? will he ever stop Tebowing?) — definitely energetic and excited. The man isn’t boring.
Here’s the deal: what is the one word you want attached to you?
One word. Not a sentence, not a paragraph, not a page.
Because you’ll be lucky (a) if even a fraction of people recognize your name at all and (b) those people associate your name with a word.
Let’s play a little game. I’m going to list famous and not-so-famous people. You think of the first word that pops into your head. I’ll put my word in paranthesis.
You’ll notice that bad things are sticky. There’s a good reason for that. I explain why, including references to Dunbar’s Number and all sorts of fancy-but-useful stuff, in this series of posts:
Name recognition is KING; also, famous peoples doing it wrong
So the one-word game, it’s easy with other people. Hard when you do it for yourself. Even harder when you do it for yourself plus something creative. Can you sum up you, as a writer / musician / artist in a word, then pick one word to describe your latest novel / album / series of black velvet paintings of dogs dressed like Elvis?
Hard to do. But worth it. Because people only have so much space in their brain. They won’t digest a sentence or a paragraph, not when their heads are already jam-packed with pop culture nonsense about Snooki’s engagement and who just got booted off Dancing With the Stars.
One word. Think hard.
Just don’t pick “excited.”
Guy Bergstrom. Photo by Suhyoon Cho.
Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Wrote a thriller that won some award (PNWA 2013). Represented by Jill Marr of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.