Where do ideas come from? Blogging offers the writer an opportunity to explore thoughts and ideas, as I’m doing here. It’s hard to say whether I’ve had more ideas since starting this blog, as I’ve always had a busy mind and am always thinking about fun projects and things I want to do to help others/improve my own skills/network/build ideas. As time goes on, perhaps I will explore some of these ideas I have through this blog (such as my desire to create a student externship program at our hospital; build greater camaraderie amongst veterinarians through our local VMA–of which I am the current president; my interest in building my speaking skills and possibly offering lectures around the country; and many other smaller (and some much bigger) ideas that like to bounce around in my head).
Many of my ideas stem from the inspiration I feel when reading innovative thoughts and creative processes from others. For example, a pediatric gastroenterologist, Dr. V, has what I find to be a very interesting blog on the human side of medicine called 33 charts. Dr. V is foremost a medical doctor, busy seeing patients all day, but he has a deeply-entrenched interest in social media–much like I do. It was from him that I learned about the concept of “portfolio careers.” As he stated on his blog, in reference to a post from BMJ:
“For the uninitiated, portfolio careers have been known in medicine since at least the 19th century, when Anton Chekhov combined his medical practice with writing plays.”
Ever since I read that, I feel like I’ve been granted this freedom to further explore social media, writing, and video editing.
Dr. V has also introduced me to a previously unknown concept: social health. He posted a lot about SXSW, and I kept thinking, “What does a music and film festival have to do with medicine?” So I explored his posts, one thing led to another, and now I have a totally new area of interest.
Other seemingly random sources of inspiration that have absolutely nothing to do with veterinary medicine keep cropping up.
- @Jessedee’s Slideshare Presentions – “I make presentations that don’t suck.” I didn’t think I cared about SXSW, but the online presentations he’s made available documenting his experience day-by-day were so captivating, amusing, and innovative, I couldn’t stop clicking. Before I knew it, I’d spent an hour looking at a variety of his presentations. I felt totally inspired.
- Chris Brogan: Chris’ blog is heavily social media-oriented, but he also talks about how to be successful at writing, at business, and at life. I love the diversity, as it carries a surprisingly universal message. He also offers a list of Blog Topic Ideas, which can be adapted for almost any sort of blog.
There’s so much to be learned from others. Whether it’s related to vet med or not, I love playing connect the dots and see what kind of picture comes up. Ultimately, I’ve come to realize that my ideas are like little children born out of my brain. I want to nurture them, help them grow, and perhaps send them off on their own when, or if, they become self-sustaining. Not all of them survive, but I love each and every one of them.