N is for Numbers – Writing by Numbers

When they first came out – way back when – I can remember my mother spending quite a few hours peering down with a paintbrush, and re-creating a masterpiece by colouring in blocks of numbers. You can still buy ‘Paint by Numbers‘ kits, but they are quite small, and target children nowadays.

If only writing could be done similarly – by the numbers. But it can’t, even if I’m sometimes tempted to follow some writing pundit’s step by steps (which noticeably never come with any guarantee anyway, nor do they come with a ready-mixed painting block which takes a lot of the fun out of it).

But those aren’t the numbers I’m talking about anyway. You read this far under a false premise. What I’m actually talking about is the sage advice you see coming at me from all over the web these last few months.

What they are all saying is that the not-so-secret to writing success can be found in numbers – numbers of books (product / assets / backlist).

While many still tell me that I must build communication channels (a platform), get reviews, market and promote my nice new paper/electronic book, others who can show some longer-term credentials simply say to write, then write another one, then another and another…

While those same advisers tell me it’s all about building that backlist of books, I have to admit I don’t yet have a front list. Nothing to the side, either. So, now that I’ve got this blog post out of the way – I’m off to write by numbers, starting with numbers 1,2 and 3, all of which are current works in progress at some stage or another.

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3 thoughts on “N is for Numbers – Writing by Numbers

  1. I don’t think there’s any right way to do things. It’s really just important to write and write well. The nature of the business changes so rapidly anyway that what’s good advice today may be bad tomorrow.
    Nice to meet you through the A to Z Challenge.

  2. Susan, I agree in the respect that for the very few years I’ve been reading into the industry, the advice changes on a monthly basis. So does the industry lately, so the only thing any writer can keep stable in their own life is the principle of writing, and keeping on writing.

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