Building Your Writing Platform

Ten years ago, I dreamed about publishing a book some day.

Today I’ve published eight books, ghosted others, appear in numerous compilations, and have been a writer on several popular Bibles. I also mentor writers and speak at conferences across the country.

So how did I get here from there?

My answer is really fairly simple. I applied common sense and elbow grease.

  • I set goals: the types of publications I wanted to publish with, the number of articles per year, the type of speaking I wanted to do and where I wanted to be in five years.
  • I educated myselfabout the writing profession. I hung out at writer’s conferences, subscribed to writer’s magazines, and looked for anyone who knew more than I did about writing and publishing so I could pick their brain.
  • I practiced. I published anywhere I could pick up a byline. I set a goal to get my name in five publications, then ten, then twenty, and to move from regional to national publications.
  • I listened. I considered editorial feedback to be pure gold–someone was taking the time to tell me how to improve my writing, and I valued their insights.
  • I gave back. The minute I learned something, I looked for a way to pass on the knowledge to other aspiring writers. As part of that process, I ended up helping co-found two amazing writer’s conferences.
  • I took risks.  I wrote in genres unfamiliar to me. I was willing to work with a wide range of people–from Pulitzer Prize finalists to first-time authors. I pushed myself to reach a bit further for each new project and to dig beyond what I thought I could do.
  • I keep gratitude at the top of my list.  I’ve never gotten over the fact that I can call myself an author. I’m extremely grateful that I can do something I love, that influences the lives of others, and that has eternal value. I’m grateful that God continually challenges me by giving me things to say and people who need messages of hope.

I’m more excited today than I was when my first book came in the mail. Today I’m even more aware of the possibilities that lie ahead, and I’m ready to learn, ready to risk, and ready to share whatever God’s put in my hands to pass along.

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