Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Platform Challenge I’ll Accept

I have decided to take on a challenge offered by another blogger so bear with me if I post odd bits and pieces here on my blog throughout the month of April.  The challenge is called the April Platform Challenge and the challenger is Robert Lee Brewer, Senior Content Editor with Writer’s Digest Community and the author of the blog My Name is Not Bob. 

Why am I taking the challenge?  Well, Robert’s intention is a good one…he hopes to help writers build their online platforms and he has offered this month-long challenge in an attempt to do just that.
Plus, there’s a prize.

What’s the prize?  Don’t get your hopes up, it’s not money.  It’s a book.  But not just any book.  It’s the 2012 Writer’s Market Deluxe Edition edited by none other than Robert Lee Brewer himself.  From the way Robert describes the book, it will be a very handy resource for someone such as myself.
But if I don’t win the book, that’s okay.  The real prize is what might happen should this challenge do what Robert hopes…help writers build their platforms.

So I may post to my blog whatever challenge has been given to us for the day – yes, he’s asking us to do something every single day – but since I only post three times a week, what you’ll see might be daily posts, or they may be sporadic as I share only the ones I wish to share or they may be thrown at you in bulk as I try to play catch up.  I guess it’ll be interesting to see what happens as I have no clue what types of tasks Robert will request of us the rest of this month.
I will post here the first task of the challenge, which you would think at first glance should not be too difficult.  However, if you aren’t used to talking about yourself or having to describe yourself, it is more difficult than you can imagine. 

The first task was this - Day 1:  Define yourself. 
Here goes…

Name:  Paula J Howell
Position:  Legal Assistant with public defender’s office, self-employed private investigator, writer aspiring to become published, editor/writer for local sports booster club, and blogger.

Skills:  creative, organized, investigations, report writing, interviewing, newsletters, multitasking, and crafts by hand of all sorts.
Social media platforms:  Blogger, Facebook

Accomplishments:  I put myself through college; I worked as a legal assistant at a law firm for 9 years before branching out to get my license and open my own business as a private investigator; I have owned and operated my own P.I. business, specializing in criminal defense for 12 years; I’m still a defense investigator but am now also working full time as a legal assistant with the public defender’s office; I have raised two wonderful boys; I met and married my soul mate (I wish this for everyone) and after 25 years the love is still strong; I finished my first book in 4 months after making the decision to finally put my ideas on paper (but I’m still editing the darn thing); and I’m also now working on my second book.

Interests:  my family, writing, reading, scrapbooking, photography, gardening, my dogs, birds, road trips, and the little things in life we sometimes overlook in this fast-paced world.
In one sentence, who am I?  I am a wife and a mother who currently works as a legal assistant with the public defender’s office but who is also a licensed P.I. on the side as well as a writer and blogger in the leftover hours of the day who is attempting to build a platform while aspiring to become published.

That one sentence is quite a mouthful but it pretty much says it all. 
If you had to describe yourself, would it be easy or difficult?  Would you appreciate the positives of what you have accomplished or would it make you see the areas in your life where you’d like to accomplish more? 

Try it and see what you come up with.
And if you are a writer or you are trying to build your own online platform, be sure to check out Robert’s blog and get in on the challenge yourself!

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