Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Of Platforms and Pedestals

Another tagline or wordbyte or something, whatever it's called, caught my eye. Another blog post title about Woe Is Me I Have No Platform and someone else who is a pro at platforms responding with It Doesn't Have To Be That Way. Then I start noticing other edicts for writers to build their platforms (again) and the warnings that you must have a platform or you will forever languish on the slush pile if you even make it that far.

I know a few writers with awesome platforms and it works for them.

I don't have a novel published. Yet. I don't have a platform. Do I think the two are related? No. With a wry smile on my face, I tell you that I know that a writer must first get to the Final Draft before a novel can be published; I'm not quite there on two.

And I tell you that some authors, some writers, have their platform and elevator speeches and taglines and ten second summaries done before the first word is written.

If that approach works - go for it.

Is that what is required in the current market?

Some people will tell you yes and others will tell you no. And I say, I don't know. I hope not. Do we have to be shoved into labeled boxes to succeed? Maybe it depends on one's defniition of "success" - maybe. What if we aren't that genre author; if we don't write just one thing and don't want pseudonyms for each style and different platforms. What if?

It's the same issue - in my opinion - about Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Ello (probably not a good example since it's incline to importance waned when some Facebook policies let up a bit), Tumblr, and so on. Some experts say we, as authors, must do them all. Some advise to pick your favorites and build and grow those. Some say go with the flow and keep up or not.

How many hours are there in a day?

That was sarcastic and rhetorical. I know the factual answer.

But if you want to write, write. If you want to promote, then promote. Where there is overlap, good for you! But when the social media marketing platform building maintaining promoting takes over the time for writing, maybe it's time to look at what it is you want. What you can do. And your "why," as the money makers/entepreneur leaders say. And I probably shouldn't say "you" when I know it is my question, my wondering, my issue. I know I'm not alone, but I know that I don't have unlimited time to dedicate to my writing so I have to be a bit fussy at times around my writing time.

To platform or not to platform? And what happens when your platform changes; when you want to break out of that zone you've set up? Is that when the successful platform becomes a pedestal and you're likely to fall? Questions without answers. I'm confident there are different answers from different authors and editors and publishers and advisors.