It is another glorious Saturday. Although so many things have happened in this world (and in my life!) in the span of just a few weeks, every day I wake up is a constant reminder that God is good. And He is able.
Deep thoughts aside, I’ve been thinking a lot about my blogging and bookstagramming habits. This is my fourth year at SJ Barnard. Over the course of years, I’ve had setbacks, days when I didn’t know if I should be blogging, or had no idea what to write about. I also started a bookstagramme account that I have an intense love-hate relationship with. I’ve gone on too many hitouts to count.
But every time, I keep coming back to this thing called my Author Platform.
So, if you are a writer out there who’s felt alone or floundering on this topic, this post is for you.
1. A platform is for you.
First of all, I think we should remember that no matter where you’re at with platform building, it’s for you.
A platform is a sort of gallery, a small nook in this wide world, to showcase the things you love, the thoughts you might have to offer, small joys and tears and everything that matters to you. (Well, not every single thing, for privacy reasons. But you get the idea.)
Of course, it’s good to keep in mind that you’re writing to an audience. You might have even heard that you should have an Ideal Reader.
Well, I’m here to tell you that the Ideal Reader is you.
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt through blogging (on this blog and other ones), it’s that blogging, at its heart, is about telling your story. Especially for authors. I’ve heard so many people get tired, burnt out, or feel like blogging is not worth it anymore (with the rise of other popular mediums). And maybe it’s true. Not many people might read blogs anymore, at least not like in the Golden Age of blogging.
Even so–I don’t know about you, but I love reading. In all of the blog posts I write, I write to myself first. I’ve been blessed that there are other people out there who enjoy my blog & have shown so much kindness to my musings.
When it all comes down, it’s this: Do you love what you do on your platform? If not, why? Take a moment to ask your heart.
2. It’s okay to take a step back.
And obviously, maybe you’re a bit burnt out–especially when you feel like quitting. I’m here to tell you that, hey, it’s okay to take a break! (For those of you who might remember, I have a tendency to go on hitouts announced and unannounced at various intervals of time.)
When I first started blogging and bookstagramming, I felt like I needed to be posting continuously, or else my readership would wax, wane, and disappear altogether. Which is completely irrational!
I want you to take a moment and think about your absolute favourite author. Now, imagine that the author has not published in a while. (Like, think Donna Tartt or J. R. R. Tolkien’s publishing pace.) Would you forget about them if they haven’t been published in years?
Of course not!!
Likewise, once you establish a base following–it could be your family, friend, or someone across the world–they won’t disappear. Take a deep breath, a step of faith, and trust in the connections you’ve built up so far.
3. Don’t get hung up on numbers.
This is another thing. When you start off trying to build a platform (because authors need to market themselves), I think the numbers start to feel like everything. (Gahh, I just lost another follower tonight! They are leaving by the hordes!!)
Must I explain more?
*inserts serious, contemplative silence*
Your value is not some number and will never be reduced to how many followers you have on Instagram or Twitter or wherever else.
- DO have fun building your platform…the Ideal Reader is you!
- DO take a break whenever you need to–you can always come back to it.
- DON’T think that the number of following you have is the value of yourself or your platform.
And that’s it for today!
Thank you for reading! What do you think? Do you have an approach to your platform? What are some things that matter to you? Let me know in the comments below; I’d love to chat with you!