Platform, platform, platform

I began writing fiction in 2002.  For five years, I wrote most nights and nearly every weekend, completed two novels and started a third.  I slowed down after that, the day job was taking too much of my time, until my boss’s irrational need to quickly reduce the size of his leadership team provided a way out with a soft landing.  I left my company just shy of my 26th work anniversary and began writing full-time in 2010.  Well, almost full time, not counting an ideal consulting gig resulting in a one year detour from my writing goals.

In 2012, after the gig ended, I resumed writing every day.  That summer, I sent query letters to forty or so agents, hoping at least one of them would request a full manuscript. No such luck, but I still wanted readers.  I think that’s what every writer wants. So, I decided to go the self-publishing route and, as I read about other authors’ success, one word kept appearing over and over:  PLATFORM

As a former IT guy, I’m quite familiar with the word.  In the IT world, it’s just as grandiose sounding and as vague, as it is in the world of writing and promotion.  In IT, a platform might include devices, operating systems, footprint or tools.  For writers, platform boils down to a showcase for your work and a means for keeping content fresh and the audience engaged.

Having decided to self-publish, it was obvious that a web presence was the critical ingredient to building a writing platform and successful marketing.  So, I decided to build a website. You might think that I could do this in my sleep after 26 years in IT, but the sad truth is that I spend most of my career in management, guiding the efforts of developers far more technically gifted than me.  I had never built a website in my life.  I hadn’t even written code since 1991 and that was just one line, for which my team teased me endlessly.  Virtually every bug ever reported on the system, which had millions of lines of code), was attributed to my measly single line.  The nerve!

I decided to build my site using WordPress.  An easy choice and a good one.  But, technology was the smallest challenge.   After all, content is king.  So, I decided to build up content prior to launching my site.  Over the past year, I wrote 15 or so short stories, half of them set in Sangrar, the world in which my novels take place.  I wrote a family memoir about our times together on Sundays, cheering and jeering the Browns.  I wrote an online encyclopedia for Sangrar, where you can find 100+ short stories.  Now, I’m starting to blog (give me time, I’m new at this blogging thing) while I work on the next novel.

All in all, I’ve spent close to a year building chrisgarsonwrites.com.  It’s been a fun and busy year and now it’s time to share it with you.  This is my platform.  I hope you enjoy it!

 

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