My to-do list overfloweth.
So very many steps to follow to be successful in any profession, whether in the writing world or the political.
First things first, of course: in writing, learn the craft. Write, and write some more. While that mythical 10,000 hours plateau looms, when the piece is ready, find beta readers: a writing partner or group, someone whose opinion you trust (not just Mom or your BFF).
I’ve certainly hit that benchmark many times over. My first publication was a short story in 1989 (not counting the poem Mrs. Davis posted on the bulletin board in sixth grade). But the write-and-write-some-more dictum remains on my to-do list for eternity.
However, once I get passed that part, when I’m ready to send my work out into the world, my writing/political lives are mirrored once again:
Query/elevator pitch: condense that 80K word novel down to three paragraphs, to 100 words, to a tag line sigh
“My Story,” the pols call it: who am I, what have I done, what do I want to do – back to the 100-word elevator pitch again. They even use the same term!
Synopsis: sum up the novel in 1-3 pages (depending on the agent/publisher’s guidelines – study them closely!)
Stump speech(es): sum up “My Story,” and my platform (there’s that word again, but with a slightly different meaning than in the publishing world) in 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 10 minutes, and tailored to each particular audience. No wonder national-level campaigns have professional speechwriters!
Author photos: get the perfect studious, approachable, friendly headshot for book covers, social media, publicity…bleh.
Candidate photos: headshot again, for most of the same reasons, plus staged “candid” shots interacting with the public, voters, other candidates, etc., …Bleh again.
Author’s social media, etc.: Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, website, a blog (!), Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest maybe…the list changes daily, and continues to grow.
Campaign social media: ditto, plus the party page listing, and keep personal/author/candidate all separate or folks might find out I’m a real person with a variety of interests and opinions (already talked about that point, several times!).
And meetings!: This book reading and that committee meeting, and that workshop and this strategy session, and that author’s launch party and this candidate’s meet-and-greet.
I was explaining this weird overlap to a writer friend recently, noting how the publishing world may well have prepared me for politics in ways few could imagine.
We’ll see how this plays out. 246 days until the general election!
As promised, if anyone is interested in the campaign specifics itself, follow @Pauwels4GCCC on Twitter, here’s my Facebook page, and a website is coming soon.