Switching gears, changing lanes, executive decisions.
A woman’s prerogative.
There is a lot of work for a writer to do that isn’t writing. Building a platform before novel publication seems an impossible task.
WRITER: I’m a writer. Come read my blog!
READER: A writer with a blog? How totally bizarre, unusual, and original. What do you write?
WRITER: My novels feature strong heroines with suspenseful, romantic and sometimes paranormal elements.
READER: Wow, that’s exactly the kind of books I like to read. How many books have you written?
READER: Three? Oh, goody. Where can I get them?
(Insert sound of air deflating from balloon. P-f-f-f-f-f-f-f-t.)
WRITER: I’ll let you know as soon as I’m published.
Marketing takes time, and though one may be a writer, they may not be a natural marketer. Harder still, a writer may enjoy marketing their book, but marketing oneself is a little different, and can make some authors cringe. Me? I cry in a corner, then put my author hat on and come out smiling. The knee-knocking isn’t nearly so noticeable when I’m sitting down.
Yet we must have a platform. Agents want to know we have a network. Get on Facebook, Tweet until your thumbs fall off, join a writing association, build a readership.
The same stuff every other writer is doing.
What else, what else… Think-think-think.
Present a workshop. Neato! Except, teaching fellow emerging writers means you know something they don’t yet know. You want them to listen to you, you want them to lick the sharpened tip of their lead pencil and set it to paper, taking note of every ounce of wisdom that drips from your tongue. You want them to absorb each nugget of information on every slide in your presentation.
You have to be credible.
Credibility comes with sales. Credibility comes with publication.
Hark! I have a published book. Storyteller, my collection of short stories. SQUEE!
And one of my shorts won an award. An award named for an author synonymous with short stories: Alice Munro.
Yippee and yahoo! Now that’s impressive!
And so I drafted a presentation on short story structure, using my shortest short, Sweet Dreams, as the basis. Item # 3 on my Life List reads:
- Short Story Structure, spit & polish
- Platform before Publication, write
- Seek out venues to present
Interesting that this phrase is also the title of Monroe’s unfinished film.
And so, the time has come to make decisions. Weeding out my Life List closet, I hold the hanger beneath my chin, press the fabric to my waistline, and twirl before the mirror.
The goal’s a little snug, but it still fits. If I pair it with a funky pair of sandals, I can get some use out of it this summer. A BBQ, perhaps? A day at the races?
Ah, but what shall I miss at home when I’m out exercising this workshop presentation goal? Progress on my work-in-progress?
I have a decision to make, and so I make it. For the good of all else on my list, I shall sacrifice presentations. At least for this year.
First, I paraphrase Bobby Brown: I made this list, you didn’t. Right, Gloria? And then, I quote Bobby Brown, It’s My Prerogative.