Recently there was a brilliant guest post by Tara Lazar on Alayne Kay Christian's blog entitled "You Are Your Platform." So many of us worry about issues such as:
Where we are online?
How many followers do we have?
Are we "linked in" to as many possible places as agents/editors want us to be?
Tara Lazar is correct. We can not be everywhere and part of our platform is us. And, if we were everywhere, when would we write? So let's all take a deep, cleansing yoga breath and look inward.
I decided not to wait until I was published to be my own platform. I am making parts of the published writer's dream possible for myself through volunteering. I see it as an internship until a contract is signed. I inventoried my passions and skills. That is where my energy and time goes.
1. Book lover/indie bookstore lover - I contacted Changing Hands' owner Gayle Shanks and volunteered to do book talks. Her sister, Vicki, had the same idea and voila- the Grandma's Club was born! Benefits for my platform? Public speaking, connections with bookstore, 20% off books, contact w/my soon-to-be readers- parents. grandparents, kids. Oh, and Vicki and I have been on the local news for a feature spot on our club. Our own kid lit tv time!
2. Former English teacher/librarian - Malcolm Gladwell indicated in THE OUTLIERS we need 10,000 hours to become experts. My career helped me log lots of hours reading mentor texts. I love kids of all ages, so I volunteer at my local elementary with the reading interventionist. Benefits? Picking up kid lingo, seeing current trends in the school library, and connecting with staff so when my book comes out, I may have an author visit lined up.
3. Educator with a new subject- I know a ton more about writing and the process after two years. A middle school English teacher invited me to present to her Young Authors' Club. We discussed craft, business and I had them write an elevator speech for a current WIP. Benefits? My first author visit with feedback and roses! I am reworking my presentation for the next visit now.
I am lucky to get all this experience BEFORE I hit the "big time." Create who you want to be NOW and it will happen. I challenge all of you to do a skills inventory and weave it into your writing career! Share it here in the comments and let's cheer each other on towards a publishing.