I’ve stumbled into a quandary of sorts. It’s a question, one I’m sure many artists who find themselves on the internet with many different hats. As such, I’m hoping someone (or a lot of them) can give me some advice and thoughts to ponder.
I, like many, wear many hats in my life. I’m a mother of two which is a hat closet on its own, but in addition to this I’m a Web and Graphic Designer and a writer. Which makes sense considering the title of this blog, but anyway. I’ve decided that in light of my current family situation as it is, that while I wish I had time to do the leg work to research potential literary agents, craft queries, update my synopsis to fit what is requested plus look up contests, conferences, workshops, and more…
I don’t. It’s a simple equation really. Twenty-fours in a day, six of them required for sleep, eight of them required for work so I can, you know, pay bills, feed kids. Pesky inconsequential stuff like that. Three to four hours dedicated to children, two to three for cleaning, cooking and/or relaxing. In that small block of hours I also have to slip in some writing.
To say I’m feeling a little pulled in many directions is a bit of an understatement. I will also admit to the truth that I’ve been imprecise AND that I’m not alone. I have no intention of making it seem like my lot in life is harder than anyone else. I know for a fact that it’s not. What I do intend to say is that I am like everyone else, busy.
As such, I’ve decided to give a very serious look at this self-publishing gig. I want my book to get published before I die if possible. Part of this decision is thanks to a Christmas present from a family member, the 2014 guide to Self-Publishing. By the way, has anyone else read it? For someone who only now decided to get serious about the research, it’s a tad (lot) overwhelming if I do say so myself!
I’ve managed to reach the article about a Writer’s Platform, which brings me to my current issue.
In a vain attempt to be a freelance Web and Graphic professional, owner of a business, I inadvertently created a platform for myself as that, a Web and Graphic Designer. I’ll be the first to admit it’s not a good platform, but it’s a start. Do a search on my name and that is what you’ll find.
In relation to my paying job, this is not a bad thing. On the contrary, it’s very good and I think it is one of the reasons that has led me to my current position (which I’m enjoying tremendously) and is helping me to broaden my understanding of the ‘communications’ world. By that I mean it’s one thing to design what others will use to communicate, it’s another kettle of fish to actually implement it.
The Platform – Graffiti meets Thalys (Photo credit: urbanartcore.eu)
Here’s the rub however: I want to start building a writing platform to get my name out there as a writer. This leaves me with three questions:
1. Do I combine my writing platform to what already exists?
2. Do I create a separate one but leave what already exists alone?
3. Do I abandon what is already in place and start over, fresh even?
I’m guessing of these three options/questions, the first is the easiest. All I would need to do is be sure to do both writing and design on my platform using my name. My worry is that people may start thinking I’m writing about design… which I’m not by the way.
The second option comes with the problem of my name. I was to use Jess McClary for my writing, but it’s being used as my web and graphics at the time. This leaves me with two possibilities. Push my writing platform under Jessica McClary OR choose a different name entirely (Miranda Watson perhaps or how about Kinsey Andrews?). I thought about using my maiden name Jessica Michel, but to be honest the problem comes down to pronouncing it. Most say “Mitchell” or “Michelle” when, in reality, the name is pronounced “Michael”. It’s a hassle that I was happy to leave behind when I married (no offense to my family).
With the third one, I see it as being problematic in that you never really delete yourself from the internet PLUS there is the problem with a conflict of my paying/professional job at the moment. Perhaps if I ever make enough as a writer that won’t be an issue, but at this time it is one so I have to be sure to keep that in mind.
This issue is one I need to figure out and resolve fast because the longer I wait, the harder it is. I don’t just mean that in relation to a time line for self-publishing my book, but also in relation to my life.
My lack of patience is proving to be a problem in this. I want to get the ball rolling, figuring if I establish a writer’s platform now, by the time I’m ready to put up the money to do the deed, I can have a good platform to market with.
… At least that is my theory.
So I put it to you, my friends, which option do you think would be the best? Why do you think that?
Let me know in the comments.