Memoir Writers: Write and Build Your Platform Too


We hear this term “platform” so often—and many of us are still trying to figure out what it means. It’s actually simple—it means “audience.” The concept of “platform” means that we build our audience in various ways—in person, with friends, community, colleagues, our network of other writers, people with whom we have a lot in common, and those are who are interested in our topic.

This network, which has the potential to grow outward and upward—creates a launch pad for us when our book is finally done. Bit by bit, over time and with care, we create an audience who will cheer us on when our book comes out—and even more than that—they will buy our book and tell their friends about it!


Dan Blank is a social media guru and founder of

Dan spoke to us at the National Association of Memoir Writers 2012 Telesummit Writing in the Digital Age a couple of weeks ago about how to make social media outreach easy to understand.


I had a few ahas during the Telesummit:

  • We don’t have to grow huge numbers on Facebook and Twitter. What matters is the message that we are passionate to share, and communicating it in a meaningful ways.
  • We need to be authentic about crafting our message and be real about who we are. After all, our book, our writing, and our presence online needs to match up with who we really are, not some fake persona that we don’t live up to.
  • The best thing we can do is to write, write, write, first and only do the social media activities that we feel comfortable doing. If we hate what we are doing, that will slow us down in creating our platform.
  • Because writers tend to be more inwardly focused, we need to learn how to do outreach at our own pace. It will get easier over time. I have found this to be true.


I’m learning a lot from Dan through one of his online courses. I’ll be sure to tune you into my new insights as they come. In the meantime, I set a goal to write two hours a day. No, I don’t always get the full two hours in, but it’s something to aim for. That is how we get the writing done—one day at a time.

What did you write today? How many words did you get on the page? How do you plan to begin tomorrow? Some writers edit to begin their writing day, while others get out the pen and paper and write longhand. Others write morning pages or a poem. What is your best method?


Jane Friedman also writes great stuff about platform. Check out her blog. Find others who blog about the topics you want to learn more about and sign up for their blog posts. Bit by bit, you will learn from others about how to write, blog, and create your desired audience.












Interview Highlights of 2010: Memoir Writing Conversation with Jane Friedman

Last September the National Association of Memoir Writers hosted Jane Friedman, contributing editor at Writer’s Digest, and myself as part of a Memoir Writing Roundtable on the topic of Evaluating Your First Page for Red Flags.

Jane is an energetic, knowledgeable, and inspiring speaker. I told you about meeting her at a conference last spring, and how she energized the room as she talked about creativity and publishing. Jane knows so much about how we need to shape and educate ourselves so we can succeed in the professional writing world.

Jane spoke about how to take a long hard look at your writing, especially on the vital first page that agents and editors view.

Enjoy the recording! Your writing life will benefit from Jane’s experience and wisdom.