I need help with a platform, as in I need to come up with one: a good one.
It’s harder than it sounds.
If it was the shoes, I’d be all set. With a nice pair of platforms, I can go from my barefoot 5’6″ to six feet tall just like that. Towering over everyone else, you may not even suspect it’s not my natural height unless you happened to glance down and see my kicks. I am that graceful on lady stilts. I once navigated a steep hillside in six inch platform sandals and didn’t so much as stumble. It’s one of my few natural talents, alongside getting my bra off from under my clothes with one hand and accurately shooting at a target with a 40 caliber Glock. (See? I told you I should have been a spy…)
Defining my focus as a blogger, however? Well, take a look around. Without the fodder of frenetic travel I am…um….well….yeah. Nowhere.
So to back up and explain, among others, I’ve been reading this book called GETTING KNOWN BEFORE THE BOOK DEAL. It’s written by a mother and writer who got a book deal based on the content of her blog about being a mother and a writer. Owing to her relative success, her argument is that you need a following before you even consider getting published because those people who comprise the following are the ones who are going to buy your books. So basically you guys (for whom I am quite grateful, make no mistake), only a lot more of you.
Apparently, in order to do this, I need to hone down on who I am and what I write about and hone that further into a short sentence or a few words and I need to stick to those topics and somehow ‘create waves’ and pull the proverbial driftwood of the world onto my beach. You are the wood, I am the beach. You be the cat, I’ll be the mouse. You say goodbye, I’ll say hello. Hello, hello.
Sounds easy enough, right?
That’s what I thought too.
I got started. I wrote down words like:
- finding (or making) meaning of one’s life
- bitching and moaning
- owning (or being owned by) an incorrigible dog
- spurts of spirituality or metaphysical mumbo jumbo
- stories about nothing
- making plans to move but never actually doing it
Sounds about right, right? Well, it turns out that’s WAY too many words and concepts: too unfocused. And it doesn’t get into my books. I’m supposed to include that too. It seems that what I write about in my fiction is apparently also part of the platform.
So what do I write about? Well, it’s always a pause point for me when asked, but essentially:
- autobiographical anecdotes
- the impending extinction of bees and related food crisis facing humanity
- Aliens and visions of the Virgin Mary and other ‘out there’ improbabilities that fascinate me
- personal crisis as a catalyst to metamorphosis and growth
So these things are not necessarily where I go on this blog and only make the already too long list even longer. And if that weren’t enough, apparently whatever my platform ultimately is needs to be “juicy”.
I know. I balked too. And then I looked it up and only felt worse.
adjective ( juicier , juiciest )
(of food) full of juice; succulent : a juicy apple | a juicy steak.
• informal interestingly scandalous : juicy gossip.
• informal temptingly appealing : the promise of juicy returns.
The only way I can go scandalous is to start all over with an anonymous blog. I mean my PARENTS read this thing. And my aunt. And my friends. And my dad’s friends. And probably a priest or a nun or something. And there are pictures of me. And maybe someday I’ll want to be governor of Alaska. Or at least the mayor of something. Mayor McCheese. That’s a nice title. And, as I’m sure you can understand, I’m not willing to give up my dreams of being Mayor McCheese with self-confessed scandal. So back to the words we do have; the excessive list and the effort to pare it into an accurate and sufficiently exciting platform.
And then I gave up and took a nap.
The author ended up with “Mama Blogger” and I’m thinking it might be easier to just borrow from her playbook and determine that my platfrom, henceforth, will be “Mama Pajama.” I don’t necessarily know what that means we’ll be talking about (Simon and Garfunkel? Me and Julio? Kodachrome?, radical priests? Newsweek?). Or maybe my new segue idea is even better: Queen of Corona.
I like Corona.
I prefer Pacifico, but it’s not as widely available as Corona. It’s something you learn to live with. It’s kind of like how I prefer Sapporo, but I’ll drink a Kirin if that’s what they have. Life is all about compromises.
And that brings me back to step one: defining my compromised ‘platform’.
So what do you think?
Writing and meaning making?
Meaning-making dog-enslaved writer?
Occasionally traveling and ditching her beloved dog but still trying to make meaning and craft something world-changing writer?
Occasionally traveling and ditching her beloved dog but still trying to make meaning and craft something world-changing out of barely disguised anecdotes from her spotted past and the random things that fascinate her writer?
It’s too long.
So maybe I just stick with the tag line I’ve had all along. The one about searching for meaning, humor, and money, maybe with more of a focus on meaning than the other two?
Did I tell you about how I recently read a proposition that that’s why we create: because we want to matter? The other thing the guy in that book (COACHING THE ARTIST WITHIN) said that struck me was that there is no meaning to life: you can’t sit around and wait for some person or cause or religion or organization or goal or job or relationship or blog or book deal or song or quote to give you meaning. You have to go out and make it for yourself.
So maybe that’s what we’re talking about here: mass delusional rationalization coupled with the occasional spark of hope that there’s a bigger point to it all and writing about all that and the few other things that hit the radar in between?
And maybe occasionally something about oysters.
So I’ll work on that, and – as always – try to be better about blogging. I have some things going on, it’s just hard for me sometimes to find the time and the energy to write and clarify it all for you. However, I suppose it’s not much of a platform if I don’t. So I will.
In the meantime, if you have any ideas about platforms (the shoes or the wooden kind you stand on or my own for this blog), feel free to share. Just remember that my dad is in the audience and try to keep it PG-13.
(and speaking of which, by strippers I mean the machines you rent when you refinish your wood floors. Naturally.)