For an introvert like me, having a platform is sometimes like being at a party – its all fun but now I’m tired and I want to go home. I fantasise about an olden daytime when writers could get a patron instead.
The patron would put the creative (me) up in one of their secluded country cottages (rent-free) maybe by the seaside. The creative could paint, write, and not go anywhere. Except for long walks in the countryside or on the beach.
The patron would enthuse about the creative’s work to all of their influential friends who would promise to open doors for the creative.
Every now and then the patron would tell the creative they had to come to town and meet some people. The creative would catch a steam train to town, go to book stores, stock up on paint supplies, and in the evening go to dinner at the patron’s house. They would eat a hog stuffed with a pheasant that is stuffed quail eggs. The creative could be as gruff as they liked because it is the patron’s job to talk them up and the creative’s job to create.
Having a platform is not like this. Maybe having a patron was never like this. Perhaps it was only for men and no women were allowed.
Having a platform is like saying LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME. I don’t want people to look at me. I want people to read my book and enjoy it. First, they have to buy it. Before that, they have to know it exists. That means I have to self-promote which means I need a platform. I need to think of Surprising and Delightful ways of saying LOOK AT ME.
I’d really prefer a bit of hog stuffed with pheasant stuffed with quail eggs. That would be a novelty.
But here I am smiling at the party. Look at me!