I got back late last night from Arizona and a writing conference I attended there.
I met some lovely people, ate some delicious food, and attended classes about the craft of writing. Much of it I already knew, but some of it I didn’t. I enjoy learning, and loved this opportunity to delve deeper into certain aspects of writing.
My biggest take away (I think I’m going to do a post on annoying buzz words soon) was this:
I am a writer.
I know this. I have known it for a long time. But one thing that the experts stress about writing (and maybe this is an annoying writing buzz word) is having a platform. I, myself, have written a post on having a platform before. The problem was, I could never figure out my platform. I knew someone whose platform was cancer, another person whose platform was PTSD, and another whose platform was helping people with disabilities. Those are all wonderful platforms–but I couldn’t figure out what my platform was.
Does a platform have to be about a disease, or a mental condition? I considered making autism my platform, or maybe osteogenesis imperfecta. I have experience with both of those. Music programs in the public school system? How floral design can have a positive impact on the world around you? Star Wars as a metaphor for life? The importance of motherhood? Laughter as a healing agent? There are infinite platforms out there, but none of them fit what I wanted my platform to be.
I could easily discard things I didn’t want my platform to be, but had a harder time deciding what I did want it to be. Because of that, I wondered if I could really do this writing thing. Maybe I wasn’t cut out for it.
Except that didn’t make sense, because I felt like it was something I could do for a reason. A gift.
That made me doubly grateful for the snippet I heard in one of my classes at the conference. Or maybe I didn’t hear it. Maybe I thought it, and it was just what I needed to know.
The thought was this: You have to have a platform (this is where my insides began to despair), even if your platform is only “I’m a writer.” (Angels singing.)
And my heart lifted and I thought, “I can do that. I am a writer, so I can make that my platform.”
I am a writer.