A couple weeks ago I wrote a column for Writer Unboxed, “Should You Focus on Your Writing or Platform?” In short, I said it’s a balancing act, but there are times when you should probably emphasize one over the other.
It generated more than 100 responses, many insightful and valuable, from working writers, established authors, editors, and agents. My colleague Christina Katz was one of the last to comment. Here’s part of what she said.
This post really makes me chuckle … I wonder how much time folks spent reading and chewing on and commenting on and spreading the word about a post ABOUT platform rather than actually spending any amount of time actually cultivating and working on their own platform?
I am a person who does not distinguish between writing, selling, specializing, self-promotion, and continuing ed, and also a person who sees all of these things as essential and necessary to my writing career success. …
For me, there is no separation. Writing is the center. (If you read The Writer’s Workout, you saw the diagram.) But it’s all critical. There’s nothing to debate.
I’m (mostly) in the same boat as Christina. I find it impossible and irrelevant to distinguish between writing activities and platform building activities. My approach is far too holistic.
So why did I write a post splitting them up?
Because most writers don’t and CAN’T see them as one activity. They’re still asking questions that show they need some concrete ideas on how to manage what they perceive (and what can be) a very real split in one’s life.