platforms

This is definitely not the first time I’ve tried to keep a blog. As prolific a writer as I am, it’s shockingly, inexplicably hard to maintain the discipline to do this sort of writing on a regular basis. (To be fair, though, I was fairly consistent with my Xanga. Anyone remember that one?) Well. Third time’s the charm.

So, yesterday was an interesting day. Two things happened that I’m forced to really take time to consider. First, I had a discussion with a co-worker who also happened to be a published writer. Most of the talk wasn’t all that encouraging, but there was one thing she brought up that sticks out. She introduced me to the idea of platforms. It was like she was speaking another language. I seriously think I gave her the blank stare for three seconds before I stammered something. “An internet presence, right?” Well, sort of. A platform refers to the network of people you have access to. (Yes, I know I’ve ended the last several sentences with a preposition. I’m a good writer, honest!) It’s the people you know, people you’ve worked with, have some sort of relationship with, friends, family, co-workers, like-minded hobbyists, classmates, oddball fans, regular acquaintances, and generally people you sort-of-kind-of know. Which includes people you may know through, ta-da, an internet presence. Well, I know people. School, work, family, life. Yeah, I don’t get out much, but I have definitely met a lot of people. Now if I could just keep in better touch with most of them… Well, anyway. She went on to echo another principle I firmly believe. Writing is a way of life that just can’t be taught. Let me clarify. People can be taught to write, definitely. That’s not what I’m talking about. I mean the passion. You can’t teach the passion, the need, the compulsion to write. But sometimes… we can get a little lost in our own heads and not end up writing anything. Why? I don’t know. Because we’re anxious about writing something imperfect. We’re afraid to write something that we can’t finish (like me and this blog post). There are a lot of excuses and fears that keep us Writers from writing much of anything. That’s what always got in my way. It still gets in my way sometimes.

Then there was the other thing. I was working at my new job at the library, helping people as per my job description. (No, the computer’s just turned off. Yes, we do have a scanner here. No, we only have Blue-ray at the main branch.) It was coming up on closing time, and there was one patron left who was rushing to put the finishing touches on his freelance sports blog for an impressive website. I was just sort of walking by when he asked me what I thought. Well, I don’t really watch sports anymore, but I told him I could comment on his writing, if not the content. I spent the next twenty minutes doing some minor touch-ups on his blog, and I realized, hey, a lot of people are going to read this thing he’s written. You might be thinking, well, duh. It was a hilarious realization for me. To sum things up, we finished, he posted, we closed. Will I get any props for my polish? Of course not. That’s not the point. It was the idea.

Which leads to this. Anyone who knows me knows I’m not the most disciplined padawan. Rarely do I follow through on a task I say I’m going to do. It got me in a lot of trouble in school, and it’s gotten me in trouble with my relationships. Writing’s been no exception, despite that it’s the most important thing in my life. I’m gonna try really hard to change that. I have no idea what I’m going to end up talking about on this thing. Maybe it’ll be about writing, maybe about my day, maybe my feelings. I don’t know. I guess we’ll see.

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