When you’re actively trying to find a home for a book, you can’t help but encounter the word “platform,” the social media foundation from which one can proudly advertise their publications to a previously established audience. Lately, I’ve attempted to increase the frequency with which I tweet, retweet, facebook, and blog, in an effort to build a platform for a writing career that might never materialize. I do so begrudgingly.
I’ve always believed that if a religious, political, or philosophical position can be squeezed onto a bumper sticker, it probably isn’t worth saying. Alas, Twitter is the queen mother of bumper-sticker sentimentality. I find myself struggling to come up with anything meaningful to say in 140 characters or less. When I can’t think of anything clever, I retweet clever things other people said. I know retweeting is lazy but ideally, it keeps me present in the minds of
prospective book buyers friends, family, and/or mortal enemies.
We’ve become a nation beholden to image over strength of character and intellectual prowess. Authenticity is rare, apparently something to be ashamed of. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to share what’s really going on in our hearts and minds because so much of what’s there is downright ugly or at the very least, unmarketable. I second guess every post, afraid it might adversely affect a prospective agent’s or editor’s opinion of me. Will I turn readers off? Will they think I’m too left, too right, too centrist? Too twisted? Will my stance on religion be an unprofitable gamble in a country clearly dominated by evangelicals? As it stands, authentic me, the me that’s poured into my fiction, becomes obscured by selfies taken at just the right angle, meaningless echoes of the moral cause of the day, and funny pictures of animals acting like people (and vice versa).
With that being said, please excuse me while I conclude this post and go find some bullshit to tweet about. 🙂