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Why have a platform?

Dear Creative Souls,

I have been writing for twenty years now. In those years, I have filled countless diaries, notebooks, digital files, and online apps. I was writing for myself and never thought of publishing anything.

As I got a bit better at writing, a tiny desire to share some of my writings with others started lifting its head.

But I am too scared to send any of my short stories to the competition. My novel needs at least three for four serious rewrites, and my diaries are personal. What can I share?

That is when I came across Austin Kleon’s book Show Your Work in which he describes the importance of having a platform.

A platform is a medium through which you share your ideas and your work. It can be physical (a gallery, a salon…) or digital (blog, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook…), although in today’s age digital is preferred because of its reach and affordability.

Austin wrote:

More than ten years ago, I staked my own little Intrnet claim and bought the domain name austinkleon.com. I was a complete ameture with no skills when I began building my website: It started off bare bones and ugly. Eventually, I figured out how to install a blog, and that changed everything. A blog is an ideal machine to turn the flow into stock. One post is nothing on its own. Publish a thousand posts in a decade and it turns out into your life’s work.

[…]

My books, my art shows, my speaking gigs, some of my best friendships – they all exists because I have a my own little piece of turf on the internet.

That advice was the inspiration for the start of this blog. Since last year, I started sharing my work and my learnings on this blog. It has completely changed my perspective on my craft. I am writing better, learning faster and feeling a sense of accomplishment I never felt before.

If you are really interested in sharing your work and expressing yourself nothing beats owning your own space online, a place that you control, a place that no one can take away from you, a place where people can always find you.

Carving out a space for yourself online, somewhere where you can express yourself and share your work is still one of the best possible investments you can make with your time.

Andy Baio, a technologist and blogger. 

Your blog can be your sketchbook, your studio, your gallery, your storefront, and your salon.

It is like a shopfront.

It will be a place where you can be yourself. You can reveal the part of you which not even your family knows about. Your secret yearnings, your desires, your dreams.

Don’t think of it as a self-promoting machine, think of it as a self-invention machine. Online you can become a person you really wanted to be. Fill your website with your work and your ideas and stuff you care about. Social media trends will come and go but blog and email have been around since the beginning of the internet and are here to stay.

[…]

Over years you will be tempted to abandon it for the newest, shiniest, social network. Don’t give in. Don’t let it fall into neglect. Think about it for the long term. Stick with it, maintain it and let it change it with you over time. Whether people show up or they don’t, you’re out there, doing your thing, ready whenever they are.

Austin Kleon

Blogging is a simple strategy that the new age creatives use to build a name for themselves which overtime becomes their most valuable asset.

This kind of blogging is different from professional blogging where you are wanting to earn money from blogging. It is more in line with the advice the great writer and visual artist William Burroughs gave to Patti Smith, a singer, songwriter, musician, author, and poet

Build a good name. Keep your name clean. Don’t make compromises. Don’t worry about making a bunch of money or being successful. Be concerned with doing good work… and if you can build a good name, eventually that name will be its own currency.

William Burroughs

I am not sure whether you have given it a thought or not yet but you need a platform too. Every creative person does.

Let me know when you build one. I would love to visit it.

Photo by Matthias Wagner on Unsplash

blog, Writing

  1. Kal says:

    My blog is definitely my platform and yes, the sense of accomplishment is the fuel for all the work that I have been putting on it.

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