Thursday, January 15, 2009

Who Am I? Don't ask.

If you're a writer, you know what platform is. We've all heard we need to have a 'platform', something like a springboard from which to launch your career. A lot of authors are also speakers, they write devotions or play the know, something that makes them stand out in a crowd.
So what do you do when you don't want to stand out? Seriously, it's a valid question.
I've always been extremely shy, stop laughing right now, I mean it, I have. I hate being pulled out of a crowd or being noticed in any way whatsoever. I abhor those shows that require audience participation and avoid them at all costs. When the kids were small and we took them to a magic show for instance, I'd cringe when they would ask for volunteers from the audience and then start picking people out at random. Don't ask me how I got this way, I just did. My biggest fear of entering the Genesis competition was 'What if I actually won?" I'd have to get up on stage and make a speech. Holy Moses! Fortunately, that's never been a problem, I've never even placed.
So what then am I to do if by some miracle, let's say there's a total eclipse of the sun and all the planets are aligned and God looks down on me and grins and says, "Watch this, I'm gonna give her the shock of her life..." and wow, some wonderful editor decides to offer me a publishing contract.
I need a platform. I'm going to have to promote myself, right? Ack.
Can I do that over the internet? Do I have to leave the house?
Help me out here, folks. How do you overcome your shyness? How do you build a platform before you're published?
I'm told that having a blog is a good start. So for all of you five followers, thanks for reading!
So now that I've got that off my chest, let's drag me out of the box a little.
Anything you want to know about me? Ask away. Never been to Bermuda, want to know what it's like? Throw some questions at me. Maybe I'll make living in Bermuda my platform. I don't think
too many CBA authors can claim that one!
Okay, I'm waiting. And I promise to be polite. And not stammer.


Katy McKenna said...

Girl, I know what you mean. I guess that I am not overly shy. However---and this is a big however---I am not an "expert" in anything. I like blogging about personal finance and being an amateur patient advocate for friends and loved ones, but do those interests a platform make? I think not! I've got lots of non-fiction ideas for books, but don't want one singular interest to define me at this stage. Maybe I'm wrong, and should pick a "specialty," any specialty, and write my brains out online until I'm at the top of the search engines. And then try to pub a book on that subject and go on a speaking tour to Bermuda. Hey, now THAT part I like a LOT..... :)

Tiffany Stuart said...

This is cute and honest! I enjoyed reading your rant about platform. I've pulled back from pursuing my writing and speaking as a fulltime career because of just this. I cannot keep doing all the necessary things to build my name. It takes all the joy out of writing. If a platform ever emerges, God's going to have to clear the way. I'm tired.

Bermuda, yep, that label is yours! Run with it...Run hard and fast, do not faint.

Hugs from Colorado,

Richard Mabry said...

You've just spoken out for about 90% of the writers I know--and the other 10% are probably fibbing. I don't know if any of us like the self-promotion that goes along with some aspects of "platform building." I know I don't.
Actually, I'd like to hear more about Bermuda, so maybe you could devote one blog post a week to local color and commentary. Who knows? Your next stop may be network TV for an interview.

jenness said...

You can be The Bermuda Babe. lol. What d'ya think? I can see the sash now...

Catherine West said...

HA HA. Um, no.
Yeah I think a lot of us do feel this way, shy or not, it can be hard to promote oneself without feeling obnoxious or being obnoxious. I guess I'll cross that bridge when and if I get to it, meantime I'll just keep blogging, twittering and facebooking and hopefully build up a 'following' that way.
Richard, we have some nice golf courses here in Bermuda!

Barbara said...

I don't suppose it is much help to say - "just be yourself"???

Living in Bermuda is a talking point you know....

When I starting singing with the worship band, I was told to imagine that I was behind an invisible wall that I could see out of but no-one could see in - not much help for public speaking though...

Sorry - I am NOT helping am I..

Slinking back to Wales...

Anne L.B. said...

If it's of any comfort, I'm not at all shy, and I absolutely hate self-promotion. I look at it as the Lord's trying to work all that pride out of me, and now I'm supposed to build a following and be humble?

*Sigh* Talk about character building. I feel for you, Friend.

Cindy said...

Oh, boy do I know what you're talking about! I am going to have my first book published this Spring with a fairly small publishing company and suddenly I have to somehow, against my better instincts, get people to notice me (or at least my work). As you admitted, I also do not like to draw attention to myself. I started my own blog and am doing the networking thing and wondering how in the world I am supposed to build a platform when I shy away from speaking to people about myself and my work. I applaud your courage to admit this, though, and to continue to try despite it all. We authors can do a lot to support each other! I look forward to reading more.

God Bless and best wishes with your writing,