Yesterday I finally made the short drive to Berry Hill's Wild Bird's Unlimited. Within thirty minutes of replenishing the feeder a cardinal came to feed. Why does it take me so long to do the things I know feed not just the birds but me? I sat in wonder considering how it is the cardinal knew there was fresh seed.
This morning just as I got up a blue jay showed up. I sat on the sofa coffee in hand watching as questions also arrived, questions I've heard in writing circles for sometime.
From the mists of morning mind I heard, "What's my platform?" and "What's my message?"
In the past I've resisted trying to distill my message into a sound bite or for a particular audience known in the writing world as a platform. To do so seems more like a gimmick intended to impress and capture the attention of an agent, publisher or Oprah. This also requires having a mind. Navigating menopause has deleted my old mind for now at least.
Morning mind is fresh and uncontaminated by the build up of thoughts from the day. This morning those two questions came and resistance had not yet shown up for work.
In this freshness I knew my message at least for today is being open to love and wonder. That is certainly what I was as I sat watching the blue jay, chickadee, a cardinal and yes, the sparrows. I wondered in wonder how it is the birds know the seed has been replenished?
For now I am my platform, an audience of one for what matters most is that I listen to me and be mesmerized by the sound and sight bites of birds, falling leaves and the changing colors of the trees.
By what are you mesmerized? What fills you with wonder? Imagine the Shift.
-Dawn! The Good News Muse, 13 October 2011
A "platform" may be comprised of an Internet or media presence, a very strong reputation in a particular field, a TV show, affiliation with a popular brand, a connection to a popular writing collective, celebrity status, or ownership of the world's largest soapbox.
When it comes to platform: publishers want authors to have it, especially for nonfiction, and it doesn't hurt for fiction either.
That's because especially for nonfiction, we trust and consider brands when making our purchasing decisions. We want to buy our books from the world's foremost authority on the subject. But just as importantly, a big platform allows an author to effectively promote their work.
Hence, publishers want you to have it. It's not everything, and don't get carried away trying to build platform at the expense of writing your book. But in your spare time as you're writing, it can be helpful to get to work building that giant soapbox.