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If I’m going to build a platform for myself, it might help if I knew exactly what that meant.

www.dictionary.com says: “a horizontal surface or structure with a horizontal surface raised above the level of the surrounding area.”

Okay. Also: “a raised flooring or other horizontal surface, such as, in a hall or meeting place, a stage for use by public speakers, performers, etc.”

Not helpful. Let’s skip a few.

“A place for public discussion; forum.
Closer, but a dictionary is probably not the place to look. A Google search gets me those definitions again, some diagrams, and pictures of oil rigs (???). Okay.
Search on “writing platform.” First link: a book entitled “Create Your Writer Platform” by Chuck Sambuchino. The other links that come up: various how-to-build-a-writing-platform posts that look like a good place to start on my journey, but right now I’m not journeying. I’m defining.
A look at that first link (this one) again shows that, while it is primarily about a book being sold, it is actually a post. Aha! Second paragraph: “Platform, simply put, is your visibility as an author.” (Their italics, not mine)
Now, what does that mean? To summarize the rest of the post, a platform is what the author uses to sell their book. It’s my credentials, my social network, my online presence, all the things that I can turn to and use to prove that people will read my book. In general, this kind of thing seems to be more important for nonfiction writers, but it’s becoming more important for fiction writers as well. Having a platform shows that a person is capable of good writing, and of selling that writing.
To sum up, to have a handy little definition that I can use and refer back to: A writing platform is the things you use to gain an audience for your writing.

In other words, it’s the part that’s about sales. Well. I’m not a salesperson. At all. It looks like there’s something I need to start learning about.