I sometimes fixate on numbers that are not constructive to my writing. Rankings and ratings, views and followers.
This data can be helpful. It can give me valuable insight into how best to connect with my readers. Marketing is all about connecting books with the right people. But ultimately, I can’t control any of those numbers. If I spend too much of my time with them, I shift from connecting to obsessing. When that shift happens, it becomes hard to break away and write. But the writing is most important.
It’s good to remember that I didn’t publish to see how many reviews a title could get. I didn’t start writing to collect stars next to my books’ names (although, it is a nice added perk 😉 ). I’m publishing my stories because I want to connect them with readers. To do that, I need to get my words out into the world.
When it comes to numbers, of course the marketing figures will always be important to see how things are being received (or if they’re being received at all). But the most important numbers will always be the ones I can control—my word counts.
When I focus on those numbers—making sure each chapter is the right length, each book landing where I want in total word count—my writing flourishes. Because I’m keeping my focus where it most needs to be—on the actual writing.