Monday, March 11, 2013

5 Lessons About Success from Gangnam Style

Wow, right? This guy is a bit quirky. And that is the biggest understatement of the day.

This Psy is crazy and funny and fascinating. And super popular. He must be doing something right.

So, here's what I've learned from his success....

#1: Surprise your Audience

I wouldn't have expected this video to have a stable scene AND a foam storm AND a sauna AND a giant duck boat AND show the lead singer sitting on his private white porcelain throne. It's definitely surprising.

LESSON: As writers it's our job to keep our readers on their toes. Keep them guessing! Don't just go with the same old tired stuff. Think of new and exciting things! New characters. New settings. New gadgets or gizmos. Be surprising! (This doesn't mean your WIP neccessarily needs a bathroom scene.)

#2: Yellow Suits are Awesome


The lemon yellow suited fellow with his matching yellow sneakers and yellow neck scarf and flashy red car is sure memorable, eh?

LESSON: Specific and unique details really make a story great. Also, yellow suits just make you look pretty darn cool. And give you stellar dance moves. And maybe fabulous hair?

#3: Two Concepts

I heard the singer, Psy, on a talk show say his dancing style was to dress classy and dance cheesy. He took two concepts that don't usually exist together and made them successful.

LESSON: What can you combine in order to come up with something fresh and new? Steampunk Picture Book, anyone? Hey! You never know. (ETA: Hey! Check out my awesome and talented illustrating friend's entry in an art contest HERE Yes. That's right, folks. It's a steampunk picture book. How cool is that?!)

#4: Be Different

Yep. There's no doubt about it. This guy is something else. He is unique. He is definitely marching to the beat of his very own drum.

Actually instead of marching, he's doing that funky dance move. While....he hangs out at rodeo arenas. Or stands on top of city buildings. Or visits a surprisingly shiny underground parking garage.

But it's working for him.

LESSON: Obviously...write something different! Come up with something original. Go ahead, be downright odd. Who cares? Just don't try to copy anyone else. Don't try to create something like whatever the hot bestselling novel is. Be original. Write something that makes others want to imitate you. (And if you look up Gangnam Style Flash Mob on You Tube you'll see this guy is being imitated....a lot!)

#5: Throw Your Heart into It

This guy is obviously proud of his dancing moves. He is strutting his stuff. He does not make any apologies for being different. And he looks like he's having loads of fun. Is he aware that there are people who may shake their heads at his success? Or just plain don't like his dancing style? Maybe. Probably so. But I don't think he cares one bit. In fact, I think he's pretty pleased with who he is and what he does.

LESSON: When you figure out what sets you apart from everyone else, celebrate it! Be proud! Don't try to mold yourself into the writer you think you should be. Don't apologize for being different. Find your own voice.


  1. Love it! What an awesome way to view what's popular :)

  2. Good stuff. Makes you think about things in new ways.