“Increasing my platform.”


I love this wonderful blogging world.  I love the freedom it gives me to dash off little stories and vent my various rages and ramblings. I love the funny, helpful, smart community of fellow bloggers who share themselves with me out here in WordPress World.

And I’m enough of an egomaniac to admit that I love the euphoric feeling of knowing that other people, people who don’t even know me, are reading my words!  Almost makes me feel like a writer!!!!  And every now and then something extra special happens out here, and another blogger nominates me for a blogging award!  Crazy, right?  When it happens, my face turns red, my heart picks up its pace, and my fingertips get tingly.  I hardly know how to respond!

See, when you get these little blogger awards, you are supposed to get out there and write a post to announce it to your readers! Then you nominate other great blogs, and everyone gets to try out a whole group of new and fabulous blogs. Its a total “win-win”!

So, first of all, many thanks to my friend at The View From a Slightly Twisted Angle  (formerly known as Wedelmom). Scoot over and read her funny, warm, creative look at family life!

Second, I’m supposed to tell you some things about myself.  This feels funny, too!  I’m not particularly interesting, really!  But the timing of this award is kind of interesting for me, and I’ll use this spot to tell you why.

Another advantage to blogging is the encouragement that other bloggers provide. In my case, I’m getting some encouragement to try to get my work published.  Yikes!  Submitting my writing would involve trying to convince people that I’m talented enough to make people pay actual money to read what I have to say!  Holy conceited big head, Batman!!  Do I really have to toot my own horn like that? Couldn’t I just keep blogging and miraculously be discovered by Simon and Schuster?

Apparently not.  From what I have heard and read, I actually have to send my writing to literary agents.  And then write about how great I am. Gulp.

I took some time this summer to pull together a sample of my blog posts, all about entering the world of the Empty Nest, and I sent them to a few agents.  I got a bunch of “no thanks” emails, and sort of forgot about it all.

But a week ago I got an email from one agent saying that she thought a book of my essays might be a good idea, and she was mildly interested. (Cue the cymbals and horns!!! Wahooooo!) There is only one problem: publishers would need to see proof that I have a ready made audience.  My 300 followers aren’t enough to convince them.  I need “thousands” of followers on WordPress, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.   And I need to show that I get “numbers” at my “speaking events.”


Apparently, I need to learn to toot my own horn.  I need to “increase my platform”.  I need to beat my chest and declare to the world that I am a writer, dammit!

Oh, stop laughing.  You’ve probably all been down this path, too!  It’s kind of hilarious, and kind of demoralizing and kind of sweetly humbling.   I guess I won’t be seeing my book at Barnes and Noble any time soon.

But at least I have a “Beautiful Blogger Award” for my efforts!  And its pretty sweet.


Please read these other fabulous bloggers, who I’m nominating for the Beautiful Blogger!  You’ll be “increasing their platforms” and you’ll thoroughly enjoy yourself!

1. “She’s a Mainiac” This “plaid wearin’, java sippin'” woman will make you laugh out loud, but she’ll touch your heart, too. Her recent post on Halloween just keep replaying in my head!

2. “Fifty Four and a Half”  I love Elyse for her lefty politics as well as her wit and wisdom about life and all of its ups and downs.  She’s another thought provoking, humorous writer who makes me feel like I’m not crazy and I’m not alone!

3. “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” Eleanor can find the absurd as well as the beautiful in life.  Her writing is funny, warm, thought provoking and deeply human.  She feels like a best friend, or a sister who moved away.  Read her blog; you’ll want to have her over for coffee!

4. “Mature Student Hanging in There”  You will love the gentle poetry of this Scottish writer.  She finds hope and laughter everywhere.  Someday I’m going to cross the pond and visit her!

Thank you, everyone who follows, read, comments and makes the world seem like a small and happy place!



12 thoughts on ““Increasing my platform.”

  1. It seems kind of self-serving to “like” a blog that nominates me for an award, but I’m liking it because I am amening the literary agent/publisher journey you’re having. That was the reason I started blogging: wrote a book, had great enthusiasm about it from an agent and a publisher until they discovered it was a memoir about a “nobody.” (That is an actual catagory with critics that they disdain: “nobody memoirs.”) So I started writing to gin up an audience. In fact, I never had a Facebook page before this journey (I do it but I hate it!). It seems that if I were Honey Boo-Boo’s mother I could get a bookdeal in a nano-second. It wouldn’t matter if I could write or not, what matters is that I’m famous or infamous. Translation: We want guaranteed money from a guaranteed audience. In March I am retiring early to write full time and start building speaking engagements. Maybe if we encourage each other along the way, Momsheib, we’ll both make it to the goal line.

    All the best and thank you so much for your generosity of spirit. Cheers! ET


  2. So the platform thingy isn’t just for people who blog commercially? You mean, in order to get essays published you have to have already amassed a probable paying public readership? You’ll need to market your own book? Do publishers via agents no longer take chances on pure talent? Aren’t they supposed to be talented in recognizing talented writers? I have heard great things about self-publishing works—via the big electronic marketplaces. Yes, they take a percentage of your take, but if you have to sell your book to your own readers, it may be worth it to publish it yourself. I’m a happy one of 300 readers!


  3. Well, Moms — I am so proud of you for taking the plunge and compiling stuff — weeding out the good from the just a teensy weensie bit less perfect. Way to go! Of course, as eM says, isn’t the publisher the one that’s supposed to be finding your audience??????

    I added my name to your growing list of followers (why was it not there — I read your blog????)

    And thanks for giving me and my lefti-ness the nod! I will pass it on once the election is done!


    • Thanks, Elyse!
      I had the same thought: aren’t the publishers supposed to do the work? Just like the music industry these days (says the Mom of two musicians)! I’m just pretty psyched to have ANY followers, much less those like you whose work I admire!


  4. Thanks for the shout out! That is very humbling about the agent. So these days you have to be already hugely popular in order to even be considered? Sheesh. Doesn’t make much sense to me. I would think they’d base it on your writing ability first.


    • I know, right? Maybe we should all just form a big publishing company and get ourselves out there….Oh, wait! That’s sort of what we’re doing, isn’t it? Anyway, I love your writing, and always grin when I see you in my reader!


  5. Don’t give up on the essays or on opportunities for speaking engagements. You are a wonderful writer and your work on what your life is life post kids at home is so true. As for the public speaking? As a teacher, you do this every day!!!


    • Oh, my goodness! It never occurred to me that my job is “public speaking”! I should send that agent a list of kids who have had to listen to me in the past 20 years! Very funny!
      Thank you for your kind words; its fun to have a new goal out there enticing me, so I will surely keep writing and keep submitting. One never knows!


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