What is this thing I’m standing on?

9 10 2011

(Adapted from a post I wrote for ANWA Founder & Friends)

I’ve been thinking about this post for a couple of months now. I’ve been wondering about this blog lately. Do I keep going as I’ve been going, or do I “take it to the next level?” In another blog (The Meanest Mom) I read recently, she compared most blogs to crock pots–a mish-mash of things all thrown in together. To make a “successful” blog, she said, you need it to be about one thing.

You need a platform.

I’ve read blogs about gluten-free cooking, blogs about design, blogs about writing, blogs about cancer, blogs about hobby farming, blogs about down syndrome, and blogs about books. Each one is written by a person (or persons) with lots of experience on their topic.

I tried to think of a platform, something I could be known for. Three of my fours kids have Osteogenesis Imperfecta, a rare genetic disorder that makes them break bones easily. I’ve written about it on my blog before; in fact, when I look at my blog stats it’s one of the posts that is hit by search engines most often. I could write about that.

I’m writing a book–a Regency romance, actually. I could write about that.

I’m ward choir director. I could write about that.

I play the bassoon. I could write about that.

There are half a dozen things that I feel ‘expert’ enough to write about. (The book writing one? Yeah, that’s the only one I really don’t feel expert on. Along with the Regency period. I’m learning as I go.)

But the problem is, I don’t really want to write about bassoons or choirs or OI or the landed gentry.

The reason I started my blog three years ago had nothing to do with ‘gaining a following’ or ‘getting my name out there.’ The reason was quite simple. I wanted to make my family laugh.

I live hours away from everyone, and only see family two or three times a year. A blog makes it easy to share things with them despite the distance.

I’ve tried starting other blogs. I have a writing/book blog (sorely neglected). I have a being-LDS-and-getting-divorced blog (not even really begun). I’ve realized, though, that I don’t have the energy to do them all and still write my book.

For me, the answer wasn’t expanding and posting more in my platform-specific blogs. (Honestly, right now I just need to focus on finishing my dang book.)

I also discovered something else as I tossed platform ideas around in my head: I blog better when I stick to my original platform. I blog more and I enjoy it more when I’m simply trying to make my family laugh.

Someday, I’m sure, I’ll need to revisit the platform discussion with myself. (Maybe after I get my first draft finished.) I saw Liz Adair at her book launch last weekend and she reminded me about seasons, and how there are times and seasons for different things in our lives. I think I’m starting to figure out what I can handle in this season.

And it begins with inside jokes about Idaho and absurd things people say and pictures of my kids.

So what’s your platform?

*Photo Credit: Boots by Alexander McQueen, photo from the Museum at FIT



4 responses

9 10 2011

I don’t know that I have a platform (my blog is HORRIBLY neglected). But I would like to put in dibs for an ARC of your book! I’ve been waiting YEARS for you to write one! 🙂 Hurray hurray!!

10 10 2011

Ina, I love you. You can absolutely be one of my first readers. When it’s finished. Which is going to be someday soon . . .

11 10 2011
Mrs. Olsen

My platform is chaos. I totally can relate to your thoughts. For people that enjoy writing, and you have kids at home…you wonder if you can pull in some money and make your mark outside of the little people. Lots of people do it, but i don’t know if I am one of them. I am excited about your book project. That sounds so exciting. I think your current platform is great!

16 10 2011

I don’t have a platform yet really either but if you ever want to get information on what it’s like to be Mormon and getting a divorce I can tell you about my experience on the subject. It’s…interesting.

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