Platform Building 106: Set Your Ultimate Writing Goals (or What Kind of Cake Will You Bake?)

Janalyn Voigt, author of novels, continues the series on Platform Building.

The pictured cake is made up of a number of individual ingredients: chocolate, flour, eggs, milk, baking powder, sugar, among them. When we follow a recipe we add each ingredient in specified amounts and perhaps even in a set order.

Even those who use a recipe as a guide rather than a decree usually won’t veer too far from the measurements given in the recipe. Why? Stray too far from the recipe or leaving out just one ingredient (like sugar, or maybe chocolate) and a cake can fail.

In the continuing saga of our Great Platform-Building Adventure, we have examined our motives and use of time. We’ve identified our life’s purposes, brainstormed goals and removed unnecessary “ingredients.” Now let’s look at what sort of cake to bake.

Your Ultimate Writing Goals

What quintessential writing goals do you want to accomplish in your lifetime? At the end of your life, what will you regret not having done? Write down your ultimate goals.

Make sure they are realistic. A practical goal is both measurable and attainable. Don’t write that you’ll be an agented multi-published author sought after by a plethora of traditional publishers. That is not a goal but a nice dream. Attainment depends on the particular preferences of agents, publishers and readers – all of which lie within the province of others and outside your control.

If, instead, your goal is to do everything in your power to become an agented multi-published author with a good grasp on what reader’s want—that is an attainable goal. Never set goals for which you must wait upon someone else for attainment.

Otherwise, you may experience delays, heartache and a victim’s mindset. Too many authors paint themselves as victims, persecuted by agents and editors. Empower your life by setting goals that you alone, walking in God’s will, can attain.


Set your ultimate writing goals and assign a realistic deadline for accomplishment. Be careful: don’t set your goals so far in the future that you’ll lose sight of them or so close you’d be hard pressed to attain them. Challenge yourself but know and work within your limitations.

Define steps needed to achieve your goals. Decide how many years from now you’ll attain your ultimate writing goals. Now, identify five-year and one-year goals. Break your one-year goals down over the next year, and then draw weekly and daily goals from them.

Next time we’ll talk about launching a platform to support and help you attain your ultimate writing goals.
What about you? What type of cake will you bake?

This post first appeared on Author Haven,  November 30, 2009. Used by kind permission.

Janalyn has written 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 has been a NCWA member since 2008.  Visit her website at


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