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I am going on over two years as a blogger. I began in early 2018 after I had taken classes at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis (www.loft.org) and found that agents expected authors to have a “platform” before a book is launched. At the time, I didn’t even know what a platform was, but I do know.
Essentially, for the sake of this book business, a platform is the podium I, as an author, speak from—nowadays, that is normally social media, since that’s the easiest and cheapest way to reach out to an audience.
Some people have a “natural” platform. Actors, rock stars, rappers, journalists. But people like me, and most people, need to build that platform. One of the best resources I found early on to help me on this journey is Jeff Goins (https://goinswriter.com/hello/), who has a business helping writers succeed. I got his free guide to acquiring 100K readers. I haven’t made it thought all the steps yet, but the first eight steps have been spot on.
I blog because it forces me to regularly write. Becoming an writer is like becoming a mathematician. A person might have an natural inclination, but it take practice and focus to become a professional. Blogging has become my practice. Sometimes when I don’t particularly feel like writing, I know I have that self-imposed deadline to post a blog every Tuesday. That requirement makes me perform.
While I was on my Solo Ski Sojourn II this winter, I attended a Professional Ski Instructor’s Association event at Snowbird. One of the learnings from that event was that when we practice, we should be working at 110% of our ability. We should be pushing ourselves. That’s what my blog makes me do.
But when we are performing, we should be at 90%–because we have to get it right, and getting it right means we need to be thoughtful, careful, and considerate. We can’t afford a car crash going beyond our ability to control the car if we are in a race. We have to tap it back a notch.
That may seem counter-intuitive, but I believe it is right. In some respects it is the slow and steady wins the race mentality. As a blogwright, I can take chances, go out on a limb, take some risks. When I am working on book two, I need to be more thoughtful and intentional.
All that being said, I have had a mental block about writing book II. So I have begun to write on the topic using random music title prompts. I need to push myself to write about Tom and Emmy in random ways, so that when it is time to write “the book” I will have immersed myself into their world.
This is my theory, and I am sticking with it! The proof will be a first draft by the end of summer—Labor Day weekend.