|"Hi. My name is Lynn(e), and I write novels.|
I know I look scary, but really,
I'm not. I promise!"
Making something of yourself (aka Building a Platform) is going to be a lot like that. When people ask how you are, don't just shrug it off. Talk to EVERYONE. I don't care if you're a retail associate (::cough::...that may be what I am), and you're telling customers. If you work at McDonald's, tell your co-workers, your customers, your managers what you're up to. Talk to the people at the post office, the cashier as you check out at the grocery store. I actually got out of a $250 ticket because I chatted with the officer about moving from North Carolina, being an author, my motivational stints, etc. (Yea, totally was rocking an unregistered car and had an out of state licence )
Talk to people. If they ask, let them hear it. If they don't ask, bring it up. Even if you're not published, tell people you're an author. When you're at conferences, TALK TO EVERY SINGLE PERSON YOU PASS.
Have you written a book, or a short story? Then HELLO, that means you're an author. You didn't tell them you were a published author, and really, that may be only a matter of time. The more you tell people you write, the more potential books you've just sold. (WARNING: Once you let this little cat out of the bag, everyone and their brother will suddenly admit to being an author as well.) This is how you start to build your platform. When you talk to strangers you don't actually know who they are or what they'll do (like, you know, get you out of a $250 ticket, or set up your next public speaking gig).
|Poor waitress never saw it coming.|
Now she has to pretend to be interested!
I tell people about the stuff from my life and BAM now I go to schools and talk about bullying or cutting. I go to a refresher to be reinstated as a snowboarding instructor and BAM, December 6th, I had a presentation to put together at a Rotary Club for adults who may be willing to help further my endeavors, bringing me to other schools to spread the message, and thus building my platform.(Although, at most schools I'm not allowed to talk about abortion, BUT I do always manage to read aloud a section of my memoir because I can make it relevant :) ).
The truth is, no one is going to make noise for you.
Think of it like this:
We've all seen Titanic, right? SPOILER ALERT: Well when Rose is pretty much freezing to death on that wooden plank, and the boats are rowing shouting, "Is anyone alive out there?" Imagine what would have happened if she just stayed quiet. Instead, she yelled, she screamed (or um, tried to). She jumped back in the freezing water to find a whistle because her voice was shot.
And she was pulled out of the water.
For a lot of us, the water we're drowning in is bills, or fearing we won't make it, or query writing. You'll freeze your ass off jumping in the water, but when you get to that whistle, you better start making noise. It's the only way you're going to get rescued.