We’ve all had to decide whether to take our writing seriously or not. 2012 was my year to make that decision. Challenges ran rampant through the zone; each with benefits and costs. Costs came with personal examination; in time spent on new tasks, new endeavors, and new possibilities.
In a month filled with writing challenges, Robert Lee Brewer flaunted his Writer Platform Development challenge in front of us. We were a group of writers looking for a place to happen, and he provided a tool to help us accomplish that goal. A year later, this is my chance to look back and ponder the cost/benefit ratio and my own performances and changes.
We all know the difficulties in starting creating a platform. A proper definition for one’s personal platform is a major challenge in itself.
In June I went from two small blogs to a joint website bigger than any I’d anticipated, with my blogs incorporated within it. I had a new partner in writing choices—Meena Rose, for whom I’ll always be grateful. I found a kindred spirit in her.
Hoot Suite never worked for me. I couldn’t get the hang of it or see its benefit. I may have to try harder again this year on that one. Tweeting on a regular basis seemed as time-consuming as playing games on Facebook. I had little spare time to join the Twitter chats, and my twitter exposure came from posting on the website and occasionally sharing articles/blogs that interested me.
The learning curve for me on all of the new programs and interconnected links drove me crazy for months. Some still do. Time for writing shrank when I implemented the platform tasks.
Knowing that the industry has changed so much doesn’t help me merge the social needs of writing with the word-stringing portion of the task. I enjoy meeting other writers, talking shop and learning from them. Conversely, I enjoy having down time away from the computer.
I searched for balance in my life. I could have asked for the days to slow down so that I might catch up, but I doubted that the universe would oblige. I could have complained, but that never does any good either.
New projects took shape, while old ones prospered or waned, according to the time given them. My largest blessing was in learning to use an editorial calendar, though it took me until this year to create one that works effectively for me.
Writing is easier and more productive for me now. My number of followers on social networks like Twitter has increased steadily throughout these months. My contacts list has expanded in several areas. Part of my education has been to learn how best to serve my needs as a writer.
All I can do is my best to complete the important tasks. And those have changed completely. They rank like this:
- Write each day on one major project for at least one hour
- Facebook for a few minutes for a couple of times each day.
- Answer all twitter messages and email if possible.
- Do one organized writing challenge each month to stay in practice/to be accountable.
- Study for a minimum of one hour each day, regardless of deadlines.
- Take the first week of the month and concentrate on market research and submissions
- Work to complete one unfinished project each month to submit for publication.
- Stop working before dinner unless fighting a deadline.
- Take off at least one day on the weekend to play. The brain needs the rest.
I work to follow each of these personal rules. They were developed because of the platform challenge; because it demanded so much more from me each day.
Along the way, I’ve made friends in places I’ll never get to visit—time being what it is. I’ve read solid work by all of you, even if I don’t always show my face. I’ve found a second home among my groups of writer friends, a home I thoroughly enjoy visiting. We’ve all come on an extraordinary journey and will continue to travel yet a while.
- Claudsy’s Blog – More Than a Challenge (2voices1song.com)
- Claudsy’s Blog: Interpretation vs. Meaning (2voices1song.com)
- Get Writing – A Writer Gone Fishing (awriterinspired.wordpress.com)
- Go to the Back of the Class (mobyjoecafe.com)
- Croaking in the Platform Pond (elisabethlanserrose.com)
- 4 Tools To Help With Social Media Management (business2community.com)
- As a Person (benhewitt.net)
- What is an Editorial Calendar? (blogmoreoften.wordpress.com)
- Get Writing – Write With The Pack (awriterinspired.wordpress.com)
- 11 Blog & Social Content Marketing Tools I Use (Almost) Every Day (toprankblog.com)