Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Building a Platform



“Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:11-12) NLT

From what writer/author-type gurus tell me, I’m supposed to build a platform. I’m supposed to have a “brand.” I’m supposed to pound away at this keyboard nonstop until someone in “the business” notices me. I’m supposed to write and submit, await a rejection, then write and submit again, in the hopes of receiving a word of praise or even an acceptance. I’m supposed to build up a base of publishing credits. I’m supposed to have 12 different pieces of my heart out there sharing prime real estate on editor’s desks, vulnerable to their harsh, red splashes. I’m supposed to fold the clothes as soon as the buzzer goes off. I’m supposed to water my house plants BEFORE they turn brown and curl up their leaves like defiant little children folding their arms in a tantrum. I’m supposed to remember where everyone left their shoes, who needs lunch money and who needs a ride.

I’m supposed to have a brand new post each and everyday, like clockwork, whether it’s God-breathed or hashed out of my own spinning head. I’m supposed to have bookshelves lined with all the latest best sellers of which I’ve gleaned loads of knowledge and now put to good use.

I’m supposed to make the phone calls to family members to somehow bridge the gap between the miles and the years. I’m supposed to keep dolling out love and affection for those who trample over my heart and good intentions. I’m supposed to do it all with a smile, keep it all together, blog about it, write about it, live it, submit it, keep all the plates spinning.

I’m supposed to go after my dream with diligence even on the days when my aching body fights against itself. There is no on/off valve. I can’t spit the words out on command. They bounce around in this rock tumbler that sits on my shoulders until they’re shining and showing off their many color patterns.

My blog is where I explore the hidden chasms of my mind – new and different voices eager for their chance at the microphone.

I haven’t been called to reach publishers with my blog. I didn’t set up this little piece of cyber space “for” them. This is where I offer examples of my writing style and a glimpse of my many moods. This is where I hope to give support and encouragement to those who stumble over here in search of it. This is where even I escape the demands of the day.

In so doing, I AM building a platform (she said, stomping her foot). A platform based on Love. Of fear. Of frustration. Of hurt. Of good days and bad – it all comes into play…right here. It’s in the sincerity of love in my husband’s eyes. That one look that blocks out the TV, the noise, the kids, the obligations and every other pull.

It’s the inner call that speaks above the smell of laundry soap, the dishes yet to be washed, the view from behind the ironing board, the ticking hands of the clock, time pressing me further on whether my thoughts are fully developed or not.

So really, aren’t we all building a platform?

Take a look at where you stand at the end of the day when all the words you’ve spoken are still aglow like fireflies in your mind; perhaps the answer is in what or whom you hold the closest.

True, my dream is to live the published author’s life, but God already knows that – He’s the one shedding light on it. I have to remain true to His calling, not the calling of a thousand published authors who’ve already turned the bend and have passed me by.

My dream. My goal. My pace. My calling.

Still, I have to ask: Who’s leading you in your dance? Are you stepping on your own toes or are you entangled in the hem of His garment?

Like the fast-moving clouds overhead shifting as if switching dance partners……we’ll each find our own way.

This is my platform.

12 comments:

  1. This Is more encouraging than you can realize and one of those "wish I'd said that!" pieces.

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  3. Debbie, you've written what's been in my heart for the past few weeks - since I attended the ACW writer's conference.

    I heard the whole "you gotta have a platform" speech, too, so I set about trying to build one. I've spent way too many hours at the computer, building blogs, web sites, joining writer's groups, reading others author's blogs and books and trying to "make it happen."

    From now on, I'm just going to enjoy my writing.

    God gave me the ability and the desire to write, so it's up to Him what becomes of it.

    Thanks again for your encouraging and open-hearted post!

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  4. Great post :) Is it important to mingle in the world of other authors, publishers, editors, agents, etc? Sure. But if it's not aiding you in the call God has placed on your life, then don't feed it. I think dibs and dabs of blogging and putting yourself out there is perfectly appropriate and we'd all be spent and dead in a year if we managed to keep up with all the shoulda's in our lives. Thanks for the reminder & the encouragement. And a pat on the back for you.

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  5. Really beautiful post Debbie! I'm thinking you were at She Speaks with me! Building that platform sure can steal our focus off of Him and right on us if we let it. I think you summed it up beautifully when you asked "Are you stepping on your own toes or are you entangled in the hem of His garment?" I think we just keep dancing and keep asking that question over and over and make sure our gaze never moves from Him. So encouraging... thank you!

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  6. Wow Deb! You speaka da truth my friend! I love your vulnerability and ability to "talk yourself off the ledge." If we all come back to HIS truth, not OUR feelings we CAN walk this walk and do it victoriously! I love your heart. TLC

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  7. Wow, this is beautiful, Debbie! So good and true. I like to say in the Kingdom there are no platforms--only crosses. And when we lift Jesus up, He promises to draw all people to Himself. You've put platform in another Kingdom light too--you are so right. We ALL have platforms of love. Blessings on you and your words, Debbie!

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  8. Like so many things in life, building a platform has got to be balanced with life. We just canNOT do it all! But if you work on your platform as you're doing other writing, as one grows, so will the other. It's a work in progress and once the foundation is laid, you can build a lil here and a lil there. (and you certainly don't have to post every day on your blog! *shiver* Some do, but it's NOT necessary!!)

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  9. I came, I read, I liked, I followed! Good job!

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  10. Ditto what Sheila said! Nice job! :D

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  11. I prefer my 'platform' to be behind the scenes - something solid but not ostentatious. So I heartily agree with your approach - keep it up.

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  12. Hey! Thanks for coming over to my place today :-) I think your blog is fabulous. Beautiful, smart, friendly and full of good writing and neat photos.

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