What's the most important publishing platform? The one you actually use, of course.
So many people are fixated on getting the right tools, buying the right pieces of technology, and taking the right classes. These people are constantly chasing trends — never satisfied, always searching.
And they're missing the point.
I was thinking about this the other night, when I pulled out my wife's Macbook and thought:
On my lap rests a printing press, a film studio, a record company, an ad agency, a broadcast station, an instant telegram, the world's largest and most comprehensive encyclopedia, and so much more. How incredible.
Literally, the world is at my (our) fingertips. And what do we do? We play Farmville. Or get addicted to porn. Or endlessly check email. We squander our time and resources.
The age of amazing, squandered
We live in the most amazing age ever, and we're blowing it. History's best technology is, by and large, wasted on the most entitled generation that ever lived.
All the while, you have something important to say, and no one is listening. You are waiting for your audience, for your ideas to start spreading. And you'll keep waiting until you start using the gifts and opportunities you've been given.
The most important publishing platform isn't Amazon or Smashwords; it's not iTunes or Lightning Source. It's not one of the Big Six or even a blog. It's you — your drive, your desire, your heart.
The tools are irrelevant. They're media for the message. What is essential is that you use them to get the message out. If you care enough about it, you'll find a way.
When you decide
When you decide to to do this — to step up and let your voice be heard — that's when your words will start to matter. That's when we'll begin to listen, and not a minute before.
So start publishing today, however you can. The point is to do it, not think or plan too much for it. Just start sharing.
This is what we're waiting for. You, publishing your words for all to read. Because there is not another you who has had your thoughts and thought them in your way. And if you hold back, we all lose.
How to start publishing today
You have the opportunity. You have the technology. You're all out of excuses. All that's holding you back now is you. It's time to start publishing. Here are some quick tips for getting started:
- Open up the most basic word processing tool you can find. A notebook, maybe. If you have to get technical, stick to Notepad or Text Edit. Nothing too fancy; keep it lo-tech.
- Then, write. Don't self-edit or screen your words. Just write.
- Get a first draft. Jot your thoughts down on paper or screen. Capture them.
- Edit quickly. Don't take more than 30 minutes for every thousand words. Keep moving. Avoid the temptation to do needless research. If you get stuck, ask a friend to proofread it, or hire an editor.
- Publish it. Post it to a blog, create a PDF eBook, upload to Amazon. Get your words out there now. This sense of forced urgency will sharpen you.
- Consider bypassing steps 1–4 and jump straight to 5. Repeat this process as often as possible for the rest of your life.
You're not impressing anyone with your silent stories and silly plans. No one is being changed by your ideas while they remain in your head. The world is changed by action. So act. Write. Move. Now.
I hope you feel a sense of urgency, because this is important: We need your message. Don't let us down.
What do you think is the most important publishing platform? Share in the comments.
*Photo credit: Chris Campbell (Creative Commons)