on Jane Friedman site:
If you aspire to be an author, then you probably already know that you need a “platform” to land that big book deal. Or any book deal, period.
Most of us are aware, by now, that we’re supposed to have two million Twitter followers, plus a couple gazillion more on Instagram, YouTube and Substack. Platform haunts our dreams in the literal sense. It follows us around like a swarm of starved mosquitos. If you’re anything like me, the word alone makes you want to bolt up from your desk right now and go hide in your hall closet, behind the Swiffer and forgotten rolls of Christmas paper, stopping only to grab a Lime-A-Rita.
It’s not just us link-stained wretches churning out the nonfiction, either. Even fiction writers eventually need a platform. Story alone may get your query plucked from the slush pile, and later acquired by a Big Five editor, but those odds are long. You bet on them at your own peril.
Now what if I told you that you could distinguish yourself amidst the slush, disguise the weaknesses elsewhere in your platform andstick it to your snarky brother-in-law, just by doing some freelance writing?
By “freelancing,” I mean contributing articles to websites and other outlets, and by “byline,” I mean the journalism term for author credits, i.e. whom a piece is attributed to.
But before we get into the how, let’s look at five reasons you might want to do some freelancing.