Today's platform building exercise (I'd like to come up with a better way to say platform building exercise) was to reply to three tweets. I replied to five, but unfortunately this buys me no extra credit. It was a good exercise though, as I now see an additional value in Twitter. As I told my wife only a few minutes ago, Twitter not only allows me to immerse myself in a literary world as one might be surrounded by pop culture if one indiscriminately watched TV, listened to the radio, and relied on other content providers aimed at a mass market, but I can surround myself with a literary world neatly tailored to my preferences. This is an extraordinary thing. Over time I can refine the people I follow on Twitter until it has just the right flavor for me, and I can continue to tweak it as things change. It's like having a line of people--some of them friends, some of them respected peers, and some of them people you have long admired--walking through your living room throwing gifts at your feet. It's a smorgasbord of connections and relationships waiting happen. Who cares if that amounts to book deals or publications or other professional opportunities? It is a beautiful thing in and of itself.
One of the gifts I found on Twitter tonight was a commencement speech given by Neil Gaiman to an assembly of graduating art students. You can watch the whole video here but I've broken out a couple of the quotes I liked best. Here they are:
"I tended to do anything as long as it felt like an adventure and to stop when it felt like work, which meant that life did not feel like work."
"The things I’ve done that worked the best were the things I was least certain about."
"The moment that you feel that, just possibly, you’re walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself, that’s the moment you may be starting to get it right."
All of these spoke to me, especially the last, as I feel that is starting to happen to me. The platform building is one aspect of it, but only because of the *way* the platform building is taking shape. The things that I'm doing on the internet and in my other writing are surprising me and making me feel vulnerable but in a strong and tender way I like and trust because it seems to come from an authentic place.