In the movie The Help, Ms. Hilly spent all her time trying to control her world and the people in it. You might say she was building her platform.
I’m all for building platform, proclaiming our names, and selling our books, but there is a limit.
A constant stream of messages tout this expert or that and each of them apparently knows more about platform (or may I say staging?) than we do. By the way, do you know the definition of the word “expert”? Is an unknown quantity and a spurt is a drip under pressure! I know this to be true because occasionally, even I am flaunted as an expert.
I tried to keep up with all the advice, but there is just too much of it. Much of it is contradictory. Like Ms. Hilly, I just got tired. Now I’m not calling these folks and their info unworthy, but I am saying that too much following and not enough doing will be our undoing. We would be wise to heed the 4-H motto: “learn to do by doing.”
You see, for a while, I lost my focus as a Christian writer. I spent all my time chasing the dream, building my platform with methods offered in the barrage of blogs and emails, but I spent very little of my time actually being a Christian who writes. Finally, I began to pray like Jabez.
I copied the prayer, placed it on my bathroom mirror, and prayed it every day. I did not alter it to build my platform. That would have sounded something like this.
Brenda cried to the God of Israel, saying …
1. Oh, that You would bless me–with a huge blog following
2. And enlarge my border–so I can sell more books
3. And that Your hand might be with me–and guide my writing success
4. And You would keep me from the evil–of not having a platform
5. So it might not hurt me—and I would be a best-selling author forever
And God granted Brenda’s request (1 Chronicles 4:10, AMP).
No, I did not pray like that. I prayed the original, just as it was written:
Jabez cried to the God of Israel, saying …
6. Oh, that You would bless me
7. And enlarge my border
8. And that Your hand might be with me
9. And You would keep me from evil
10. So it might not hurt me
And God granted his request (1 Chronicles 4:10, AMP).
God did not answer immediately because He had to wait for me to do my part: write. When He did answer, He took care of my platform. We were in harmony once more and I could once more say it and mean it. I am a Christian writer, that is, a Christian who writes.