Three years I spent writing and polishing my first novel. I was so excited once the manuscript was finished. On to the agent search! But wait…what’s this I’m reading? I need a “platform” and if I don’t have one, I may not be able to draw in an agent’s attention? Surely that can’t be true. I’ve never even heard of a “platform.”
When I think of a platform, I imagine someone on the street corner, standing on a rickety box, holding a bullhorn—shouting at passersby, trying to draw folks in to hear their rehearsed message.
So, a Googling I go! I even hit the library for this one. Instantly I’m inundated with information that seems so far out of reach that I feel the urge to scrap the whole idea of becoming a writer.
Take a breath.
I’ve worked too hard to let a platform get in my way. Reading through the suggestions, I find the need to break it down into digestible chunks. Where to start…ah ha, the internet! Let’s see: facebook, have had an account for a while, check; Twitter, have an account, never tweeted, check; blog, called on a niece for help, check; LinkedIn, called on the husband for help, check; MySpace, Google +, tumblr…..whoa! How many hours do these people think I have a day?
LinkedIn’s as far as I go. What’s next? Find like-minded people. Sounds simple, but it’s not as easy as I thought it would be. Upon searching, I find that I have to “ask the right question” so to speak. “Suspense writing” gave me tips, tricks, and romance writing. Hmm, how about “suspense writers?” Romance, tricks, and Amazon…nope! You get the idea. Finally, I try “list suspense writers.” My hope was that published authors would have sites I could rummage through, and I was right. Finally.
The list becomes more outrageous as I read so here’s where I stop, at least for now. My personal suggestion to anyone, like me, who’s new to the writing world: Work on a platform, but don’t get too hung up on it.