Scripture Motto

"Let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father." Matthew 5:16

Friday, June 17, 2011

Building a Platform

Recently, my eldest son said to me (via his Facebook status post), “Wondering why Merrie Hansen hasn't been posting to her blog...it only takes a couple minutes mom!” My response, “It may only take a ‘couple of minutes’ but without a topic, it takes a bit longer.” So, here’s my couple of minutes…and with a topic, Son!
“…Record the vision and inscribe it on tablets…” Habakkuk 2:2 (nasb)
For several months, I’ve been haunted by the words of Terry Burns, author/agent, stressing the importance of building a platform. Because of other interruptions in my life, I set the research aside until last week. It doesn’t require a hammer, saw, or 2x4’s. What I found from a quick search the internet was a writers’ platform is marketing my resume. Sounds simple enough. Yet, because my writing experience is limited, so are my credentials.

My writing journey began five years ago. I remember it well. For several days, I woke in the wee hours of the morning feeling the need to “write this down.” By the third or fourth day, I began to ask the Lord, “Why are you giving me these?” I sensed He wanted me to do something more than keep them in a notebook. I thought of Moses standing before the burning bush asking “why me,” because I asked, “Who am I to write?”

What do I have to offer? Do I share my life’s story? Would the experiences I’ve encountered interested anyone else? Are my 30+ years on the roller coast ride of being a wife, mother, and homemaker enough to share with the world? Fiction or non-fiction?

I didn’t know what I was doing or how to accomplish it. Yet, like Isaiah, I responded, “Here I am, Lord. Use me.” Then, I did as I usually do; I prayed…and did research. I sought the advice of close friends, as well as enlisted their prayers.

As I waited to hear from those friends and for God to stir of my spirit, I continued to write my little pieces. Life went on as normal, until the following week. I flipped to the back pages of the book I was reading looking for the next volume in the series. There it was—in black and white—“Let us teach you to write.”

The book: “The Rapture” by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins
The ad: a writing course with the Christian Writers’ Guild

After more prayer for discernment and with the blessing of my husband, on June 1, 2006, I began their 26-month apprentice course. Since then, I’ve attended writers’ conferences, launched Merrie Hansen.com with weekly devotionals, and joined a support group and a critique group. Despite few submissions for publication, God saw fit to have one of my articles published in “Just Between Us,” a magazine for Christian women.

However, I feel my writing topics are sporadic, and I continue to seek the answer to the all-important question for building my platform: “Who am I to write?”

Would you help me answer this question?