X-Factor - A-Z Challenge - Starting & Sustainng A Writing Career

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

X represents an unknown or unspecified person or thing. It is also the first unknown quantity in an algebraic expression.  An X-Factor is a variable in a situation that could have the most significant impact on the outcome, or a noteworthy special talent or quality.

When we set out on our writing adventures, some of us have an idea where we want to start and end in terms of the stories we tell and a vision of success. Most of us though, have no idea where our writing will take us, and which book or special ingredient will provide the X-Factor that tips us over into being a well-recognized writer.

After reading tons of information on writing and marketing, what is clear to me is that nobody knows which component will shoot a writer to popularity, be it good marketing machinery, fans who are mad about our stories, or coming to the attention of a kingmaker who can turn a host of eyes on our work.

Apart from the love of writing and our individual vision of success, we are spurred on by the hope that whatever our X-Factor turns out to be, that it will one day move us from obscurity to recognition.

Do you ever wonder what X-Factor will be your source of success? Are you working consistently on the business end of writing to help the process?

There is no secret to success except hard work and getting something indefinable which we call 'the breaks.' In order for a writer to succeed, I suggest three things - read and write - and wait.
                                                        - Countee Cullen

Success comes to a writer, as a rule, so gradually that it is always something of a shock to him to look back and realize the heights to which he has climbed.

                                                        - P.G. Wodehouse


  1. I'm still looking for my X-Factor...actually, I think I know what it is and what it has been all along, but I feel I need an agent in order to publish that series.

  2. My marketing skills are poor at best. I am working to improve them, and as I get closer to releasing the next novel, I will hire a publicist to help me. I'm getting less shy in my old age!

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  4. I'm learning more about the marketing end of things, but my first love is still writing, and I suspect that good writing is probably the core X-factor for success. Everything else helps, of course, but the writing has to come first. IMHO :-)

  5. When I try to figure how what made my 8th book a bestseller compared the previous 7, I can't find it. I'm just keeping on doing what I'm doing.

  6. I'm getting closer to defining my X-Factor. Thanks for the encouragement.
    Play off the Page

  7. It is a mystery and it's different for everyone. Probably why no one can define it.

  8. It may help if I had a plan. I just write because I love it. It is a wonderful outlet that brings me joy and keeps me sane. If something else good came out of it that would be great too.

  9. Luckily for me the only thing I write is my blog but I do wonder what it is that makes an author into a J.K. Rowlings success and another excellent story teller be virtually ignored.

  10. I don't think we will ever know what the X factor is. The only thing we can do is try different things and hope for a little luck.

    ~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Member of C. Lee's Muffin Commando Squad
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

  11. I like the Wodehouse quote at the end. I hope that's the case for all of us and it often has been in the past for my life.

  12. So true -- what causes popularity can be unknown. Skill, luck, etc.


  13. Still working on finding my X Factor - I think some of it is going OK, but there is certainly a lot I can improve on!

    - Sarah (and Choppy) -
    Travels with Choppy

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