Secrets of Success


I’ve been conducting exhaustive research into the advice from established authors to aspiring writers. After compiling results in a spreadsheet and undertaking extensive statistical analysis, I can confirm that 92.47% of successful authors advise the following:

1. Write

2. Read

Yes, that’s it. That’s the big secret to success. You need to continue to pursue two of the three Rs you began at school. (As a qualified mathematician, I also continue to pursue the third R which may grant me bonus points but is probably irrelevant.)

Only 1.38% of respondents advised taking a writing course.

Analysis of a subset of values for Advice Point 1 revealed the following crucial advice:

Find your own voice and write from your passions.

In other words, don’t try to be what you are not. Don’t attempt to second guess what publishers and/or the public may or may not want to read. If you write it your way about things you love, the rest will take care of itself.

What a magnificently freeing thought.

“The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it ­honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.”

– Neil Gaiman

*NB: All statistics quoted in this post are completely fabricated. As all good statistics are.



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