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Saturday, February 11, 2012

My Need to create a "Writer's Platform."

     We must all agree, especially the Arab Spring revolutionaries, that technology has changed our lives. Without Facebook and Twitter, Ben Ali, Mubarak, Qaddafi and Saleh would most likely still be in power. In many aspects the change is for the better.

     For me personally, without Google and e-mail I wouldn’t have established a relationship with my second and third cousins who live in Sydney, Australia: The last time I saw my second cousin Betty was on her visit to Israel fifty years ago or so, when I was a teenager there; her daughter Judy I first met about two years ago. And Skype? Without it I wouldn’t see my overseas friends and relatives as I do on our long weekly conversation. So I am embracing the technological development that interconnects us all.

     Yet I am irritable about the loss of an idle time, which is so scarce in our busy lives, with our jobs and our familial and social obligations. Having rarely the opportunity to simply do nothing, I would utilized my bus rides, for example, as that cherished idle time, watching through the bus’s window New York City’s amalgam of pedestrians; some strolling, others rushing or window shopping. But then the cell phone has turned the relative quiet on the bus into a loud public domain with riders advertising their illnesses, romances, disagreements, or other private information I have no desire to hear.

     And I too have turned my idle time on the bus into a hectic spell, checking my voice-mail, text and email messages, for among them there could be an important response to an urgent query I had made. And it is not only that necessary electronic communication that takes our time. Probably like many of you, if I calculated the number of hours per week that I spend sorting through unsolicited e-mails, both on my private and public accounts, I would want to destroy my computer, SPAM and all.

     And now, that I have finished writing my memoir, I learned that I have to build a “writer’s platform” to amass followers, so that literary agents will agree to take on my book and try to sell it to the trade. As one agency wrote me, it needs to see that my Blog membership, my Twitter followers and my Facebook fans number somewhere in the thousands. T-h-o-u-s-a-d-s!!! 

     So last week I created a Twitter account, and I have 5 followers! This week, with some help from a colleague, and then on my own, I spent hours creating my blog site. Next week I’ll try to build a page on Facebook—different from my regular Facebook account, which I can barely manage. Then I’ll combine them all together, should I learn how to do that.

     And I thought completing and editing my memoir was overwhelming.