Platform Building 103: Marshal Your Time

Janalyn Voigt continues the series on Platform Building.

It takes time to build a small business. Writing on a professional level is no different.  It requires time to perfect the craft of writing, pursue publication, create a platform, advertise and deal with a multitude of mundane tasks.  How will you find that time?

First, take stock and make sure you’re actually called to write and motivated for the right reasons. Your calling is the root you’ll tap to draw water for your career tree.  If there’s no root, your tree won’t grow.

Even if you are called to write you may find yourself in a season of rest. Set a date to see where you are in six months, or whatever time frame seems right.

Family responsibilities can take priority for a time. Save yourself and your loved ones frustration by accepting reality. Here, too, you’ll want to set a future time to reevaluate your priorities.

If you are called to write now but life holds you back, consider reviewing your commitments under the lens of godly priorities. You may need to make some tough choices to free your schedule. Before making any life-changing decisions, look for agreement from your spouse, feedback from your family, and the advice of wise people you trust. 

And then there’s the rest of us. We think we don’t have time to tend the business of writing. We feel guilty about playing computer games, talking on the phone, watching television or engaging in other such time wasters. We create our own time crunches.

Here’s where the rubber meets the road, the bait gets cut, the die is cast. You and I choose what we do. An evangelist, in a meeting I attended, asked his audience to repeat: “I win or lose by the way I choose.” Those words remain engraved upon my mind. We win or lose by the way we choose. Be a winner.

Last week I instructed you to identify how you waste your own time and to discover your motivations. It takes time to change behaviors, but you can choose today to move in the right direction. Don’t go too fast and risk discouragement.  Mount Platform already looks intimidating. Go slow and easy as we work to marshal our time for the business of writing.


Set a few minutes to brainstorm areas of inefficiency in your schedule. Examine your expectations. Are they realistic, given the demands on your time? How much time can you free to achieve goals? Compare notes with others. Look for ways to cut corners, combine or eliminate tasks, and delegate chores.

Next time we’ll establish writing goals. It will help you to know how much time you’ll be able to put into goals and platform building.

This post first appeared on Author HavenNovember 9, 2009. Used by kind 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–tentatively scheduled for Fall of 2011.  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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