Platform Building 101:Define True Success


Janalyn Voigt begins a series of posts for NCWA on Platform Building.

Wherever you are in scaling the mountain known as “Platform Building,” whether you’re at the bottom looking way up, halfway to the top, or enjoying the view at one summit before looking toward a higher peak, you’ve come to the right place.

The good news: You will stretch and grow as a person and as a writer. The bad news: Platform building takes time, effort and courage.
Building your platform means altering your life. Writing takes discipline and sacrifice. I suspect many of you know this, but we should pause and count the costs. Only you can make the call: are the costs are worth the rewards?

Building a platform is important, but it’s not the most important thing in life. A relationship with God comes first. Jesus Christ came to earth in the form of man and lived a sinless life so He could take the judgment for our sins on Himself at the cross. If you don’t believe in sin, read the news headlines. We live in a fallen world, in need of a Savior. Reach out to Him, accept His forgiveness, repent from your sins and you will enter into a right relationship with God through His Son. Let me know if you do this so I can encourage you.

If you have a relationship with God that’s weak, recommit your life. That puts you on the path God has designed. God will meet and strengthen you to do His purposes. Go forward in His strength. It’s impossible to succeed without Him. A writer can find publication and even make the bestseller lists without a relationship with God, but that’s only success as the world defines it.

So, what is godly success? True success lies in identifying God’s purposes for you and applying them to your life in obedience. I’ve defined the wider goal (rather than focusing only on writing) because your writing purposes and goals will flow naturally from your life’s purposes and goals. Look to your areas of giftedness and also to the remarks others make about you. Ask God to show you, and He will. Your specific callings will illuminate everything you do.

Once you know your life’s purposes, identify whatever doesn’t line up, and eliminate it as a time thief. More on that next time, for now: make sure your relationship with God is on track. Ask Him to help define the purposes He has called you to in life and through your writing. Before long, you’ll soar over those mountains.

This post first appeared on Author Haven, October 27, 2009. Used by permission.

Janalyn writes adventures kissed by romance in the fantasy and historical fiction genres. 

DAWNSINGER, book one of her TALES OF FAERAVEN trilogy, will release with Port Yonder press. Her publication credits include Focus on the Family, Scripture Press and Pentecostal Evangel. Janalyn is affiliated with ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and NCWA (Northwest Christian Writers Association).  Visit her website at


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