I was talking to a fellow blogger the other day, one who has an agent. She told me that she's been rejected several times by real, reputable publishers. She said one of the reasons is that she didn't have a platform. In my mind, I'm thinking a platform means you have to stand up for something like one-armed pygmy Korean vegetarian children. I started to worry because I don't have anything like that. She laughed at me and said that a platform means you have a big audience. Like huge. Like 5 digits or more. Huh. That rules me out. I currently have 98 people who subscribed to receive an email anytime I post a blog. I have 145 people who follow me on Google+ (which I still haven't figured out yet) and I've got just over 2800 "Likes" on my Facebook page. Hardly a 'platform'. Barely even a step stool.
As a writer/blogger, I want people to like my stuff. I want people to read and comment on my posts. I am looking for approval and for people to like me. Would I like for MORE people to like my stuff? Hell yes. However, as I've heard time and time again, bigger isn't always better. A bigger audience means more eyes looking at you, more people to judge you, and more pressure to be ON. I've seen some of my friends who have posts picked up by bigger sites like Huffington Post, Reddit or Technorati, and some of those posts have been absolutely skewered by trolls, douchenozzles and assbags with awful comments. Do I want that kind of reaction if I was to have a post go big? No effing way! I hate criticism and rejection. It makes me feel awful, so to have something that I put my heart and soul into go big would be great, but to have it be the target of haters would be devastating.
I wouldn't mind having a bigger audience (as long as they like me). But with a bigger audience comes more pressure to entertain people. The thought of having something actually go viral excites me but it also scares the pee out of me. Seriously, if I went viral, then I'd feel pressure to be consistent with my content. I'd be afraid every time I hit the 'publish' button that my latest post won't live up to the BIG one that got me the BIG attention and the BIG numbers. Being funny, witty, or even thought-provoking isn't something that you can switch on and off. I don't wake up in the morning and say "I'm gonna be a funny bitch today." Most of the things I say that people find funny are a result of a situation I'm in or something that someone tells me about. I write off the cuff. My posts are almost all stream-of-consciousness. I don't prepare stuff ahead of time, I don't outline my material. I just sit down and write. If it's funny, great. If it's not, then no one will like it. But the bigger your audience (IN MY OPINION anyway) the more pressure you have to entertain.
I am happy that I have the audience I have, I'm happy to be a small-time blogger. I don't know if I'd like to be a big well-known author. Maybe I'd like the chance, but more likely than not, I'd succumb to the pressure to please, and I'd quit. So what if I don't have tens of thousands of followers. That's less people to throw eggs at me if they see me walking down the street and yell "Hey, Snarky, your stuff isn't as funny as it used to be." I don't need that kind of pressure. I'm happy to be a little fish in a big pond.
I just wish there was a bigger payment for being a little fish.