Welcome to my inaugural blog post!

The beginning of my blog  – where I explore why the heck I need a blog

The birth of the Obligatory Blog began, as so many good stories do, on a dark and stormy night. That is perhaps a slight exaggeration – it wasn’t really stormy, but at least it was sprinkling. My agent was giving me the “now that the book is done” speech, outlining all the things that publishers usually expect out of a nonfiction author. It all boiled down to one thing: Nonfiction writers need this magical attribute that they call an “author’s platform”.

The concept of the “author’s platform” was invented in the early 1990s, alongside the World Wide Web, Hubble Space Telescope, crop tops, and rave pants. Fiction is easy to judge based entirely on the quality of the writing, or you could slap Fabio on the cover and not worry about a single word. A work of nonfiction needs authority. It was no longer enough to meticulously research and cite your manuscript. You had to prove you were an expert. A pile of education wasn’t enough. Knowledge and skill would never prove a thing. No soapbox debater would do. A writer had to survive the greatest test of veracity known to the 90s … they had to get on TV. Television was the author’s platform.

As the age of AOL and floppy disks gave way to our modern digital media landscape, the author’s platform went online. Today if you want to write a book proving the Speaker of the House is actually twenty-seven space-hamsters in a neoprene skinsuit, you have to be famous on the internet! Thankfully, my subject matter is much easier to fact check than space-hamsters, so I don’t have to reach the internet fame heights of Elon Musk or a Kardashian. I just have to show a reasonable following on a smorgasbord of social media sites … and write a blog.  And so, the Obligatory Blog was born. I solemnly swear to make a reasonable attempt to post at least two screeds a month. Each entry will be a meticulously crafted artisanal blend of whatever is kicking around my consciousness, pressed through a well-aged filter of wordcraft and the annoying grammatical suggestions of Microsoft Word … I get it, you don’t like “actually”, but I actually really did want to write it there, actually. If that sounds like your kind of fun, please follow along and help me be just internet famous enough to make my publisher happy. 

One response to “Welcome to my inaugural blog post!”

  1. Laurie Mitchell Avatar
    Laurie Mitchell

    I look forward to following your work!

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