Building a Sturdy Platform


When I started the Writer’s Digest October Platform Challenge, I had stepped out, albeit timidly, into social media. My platform was a little wobbly, perhaps not sturdy enough to support Marie Antoinette on her way to the guillotine. Did I mention I was scared? It is one thing to observe life through fictional characters, quite another to step out on that platform to say hello to the world.

A fellow writer commented she would rather spend her time writing, which was my attitude when I joined Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. Isn’t a writer by nature quiet and observant, the person at the periphery taking it all in? When would I have time to write if I have to constantly monitor social media?

In April 2015 I attended a Writer’s Day workshop taught by Chuck Sambuchino. He told the story of how he met the woman who designed the workshop on Facebook. The woman had reached out for help. Chuck and other members of the FB community responded. An offshoot of the communication which started between a writer in Greece and another in Ohio was the April workshop in the Chicago suburbs.

What struck me about the story was that writers could be part of a mutually supportive community. Face it, publishing is an awfully competitive business, which can engender less than attractive emotions toward our cohort. Reading the comments from other writers attempting the October challenge introduced me to helpful ideas and some cool people. I also learned the community is not all about self promotion and selling your own books. So I jumped in and have completed each day’s task, with gratitude to WD and Robert Lee Brewer.

In my next blog post, I will interview an expert in public speaking, as it is sure to be a plank in our platform. I would love to hear how you feel about balancing your more private creative side with your public persona.


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2 comments on “Building a Sturdy Platform
  1. djt fontana says:

    Absolutely agree with all you’ve written here, Eileen. I’d also not wanted to set up FB, Twitter, Google+ accounts & thought too that this was time that could be more productive, used for writing, researching, etc. Through the WD Writers Platform Challenge I’ve learned how important social media can be for writers & necessary. Thanks for sending the sign-up information for this challenge; it’s been a great learning tool for me as well.

  2. I wish you luck, Eileen. I find your scared feelings of “stepping out into social media” to be a very honest and shared emotion among us writers. If only we could go back 50 years and lock ourselves away with our pens! But then, I suppose writers back then had to find ways to make themselves known as well. Being a writer may look easy, but it’s anything but. Still, it’s worth it. I started the whole blog business and kept up with it quite well for almost a year, then I let it slip, so I could “write”. Your “reaching out” reminds me that I’m losing a valuable part of the process by letting that slide. Time to get back in the saddle. Thanks for the inspiration.

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