From Sarah, With Joy

*Poet * Author * Wanderluster*

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Balancing your writers platform with actual writing

I personally think working on my platform is fascinating. I love putting myself out there and meeting new people and becoming part of a community. However, the time you spend blogging, tweeting, facebooking, emailing, all that fun stuff, means you aren't actually writing. And writing is what makes a writer.

Especially in todays publishing world. The more you produce the more you have to work with and market and experiment with traditional vs. self-publishing or a other words, its good to have lots of stuff out there. (This is obviously mostly from a business standpoint. Everyone has their own ideas and strategies as far as artistic creativity, but we writers really do have to be business-people to make our writing careers work.)

But having a platform is also important. If people don't know about your book, they won't read it. Simple as that. Building a platform and networking is how you increase your readership and have a good relationship with the readership you already have. At least thats part of it.

So how do you balance the two? For me, at least, its about setting rules for yourself. Set a word count that you have to reach before you can go online (1000 words is a good rule of thumb), or maybe set a limit on your platform-building, non-writing time. Personally, I try and give myself a list of things I have to do each day, which includes a word count and things like daily blogging.

What has helped you accomplish these two sides of a writing career? For the actual writing, what helps you actually sit down and get the words down? What are your favorite tools for platform building? What has helped you reach the most people, both in your writing and networking?

Hope this helps! I'd love to hear some of your ideas.
Sarah Allen


  1. I agree that setting writing goals is helpful before you start working on the platform. For me, checking in on my favorite blogs can be very time consuming, so I'm trying to work on updating my blog before I check other people's blogs. Some days it works, other days not so much.

  2. Well,

    I am not full time author and have problem balancing my full time job, further studies, platform building time and writing time.

    I stick to one thing at a time and skip the rest of them for the day. some day I hope I can become better at balancing !!

    Hey Sarah, I am organizing a flash fiction challenge at my blog. Please do participate in it.

    with warm regards

  3. Building a platform has actually resulted in me writing waaay more, because I feel I'm creating an expectation for myself. Since starting a blog just a few months ago, I've picked up two crit partners, which was completely new to me, and even when we're all way behind on our schedule, I'm still writing more than I ever have.

    But! In the meantime, I've gone on a bit of a decline because all this web stuff is so exciting, so this entry was EXTREMELY timely for me. I think I actually WILL set a goal to write a certain amount every day. Your little piece of advice totally just gave me a wake-up call.

  4. I think this has to be the biggest challenge for me right now. I just finished my first sci-fi urban fantasy book and it will be available on ereaders on March 31st, but I am in the process of writing the second book in the trilogy. In my mind I'm concerned because as you say, if no one knows the book exists, they will not buy it. I feel as if I don't spend enough time marketing my book, even though I have set up a FB, twitter, writerface and blog accounts. I try to participate in forums and write on other peoples blogs as much as I can to promote myself but ofcourse there is never enough you can do to put yourself out there. And as you say, in the meantime while I'm doing all this, I'm neglecting my work. I have to write and I try to do things every other day in a schedule. But at the same time while I'm writing my second book, I feel depressed because I'm working on another project in hopes that people will buy it when I'm not spending that time reaching out to them.
    (I hope this wasn't confusing)

    the DOME by Nova Sparks, out on ereaders March 31st 2011!!! SAVE THE DATE

  5. Great comments! I'm glad this could help a little bit. Its difficult and exciting to work on both areas, and I'm glad to see how you guys are going about it. Thanks!


  6. Brilliant suggestion. I've been thinking about this myself as I set up a new blog for a new book project while committing to keeping my old one going. AND writing the new book!

    Has anyone gotten any actual, discernible, tangible results from Facebook or LinkedIn? Twitter?

  7. I think setting rules and limits is so important. It is very easy to let networking and platform building take over, and suck up all that writing time. Good post!

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse


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