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Dauntless Writing Podcast

Dauntless Writing Podcast

Fearlessly Organising, Crafting and Marketing Fiction

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Dauntless Writing Podcast Episode 19: Statistically Significant Samples

What is a statistically significant sample for deciding whether something works? When do I drop what I’ve been doing and how do I decide to do next? Below, I give a ten step example of how I go about the idea vetting process in order to try and simplify my decision-making process.

In this podcast:

Some things you have to do as a fiction authorpreneur;
How to decide to approach these things;
Sound Principles for next level organization;
Finding what works for you;
MVP’s – Minimum Viable Product at the Minimum Viable Price for the maximal result;
On giving a plan a fair run before canning it;
Applying the 80/20 rule;

The 10 step vetting process:

1) Get an idea, ex nihilo or from something I’ve encountered;

2) read up on the idea, has other people done it? How hard is it to implement? What successes and/or failures have they had? What pitfalls have they mentioned? Are people recommending it? If not, maybe shelve the idea until later.

Rate each of the factors involved on a five point scale.

The factors are:

Time (how much time out of my day it will take 1 is none at all, 5 is a lot);
Money (Will it cost money? If so, how much?);
Effort (is there a lot to learn before hand? how much info is available to ease learning?);
Skills transfer (can I use some of these skills that I learn somewhere else? I’m more inclined to learn things that are); and
Fun factor (Does it actually sound like something I can do for the fun of it?).

I give each of these factors a % weight (like the fun factor is more important to me than the time factor at this stage, but the Money factor is usually a decider)

3) Come up with a strategy of how I would implement the new idea into my current schedule. If not enough time, maybe shelve it for later, or find another activity that is not panning out and replace it with this new one;

4) Research and write a policy and procedure for the activity, include a cost-benefit analysis taking into consideration my resources, such as time and money. Then measure it against other shelved projects. Maybe you had a gem lying on the future plans list that is better than this one.

5) Set roles and goals for the activity (Look for synergy and others to help, and quantify the cost of their help). The goals are what I’ll use to measure whether the activity is good or not;

6) If the activity is similar to another activity that I’m currently running, such as maybe taking on Linkedin when I already use Facebook, set it up as a split test to that activity.

7) Implement the strategy. Go for it as if it’s the only thing you’re doing. Try your damnedest to get it to work.

8) Monitor your actual resources spent and results obtained against your projected goals and readjust your expectations and the factors that you mentioned in step number 2. No plan survives contact with the enemy.

9) After a period of time (set out in step 3 and 4 above), see which of the activities are producing the goods, and double down on those (this is your new control to measure future things against), and cut the ones that don’t. The ones that don’t can go back onto the future list, because things can change and you’ve got some data on how it worked for you in the past with ratings.

10) Start planning a new split test with the next most likely thing that may replace the thing that you’re doing.

The post DWP Episode 19: Statistically Significant Samples appeared first on Dauntless Writing.

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Dauntless Writing Podcast Episode 16: The Harsh Truth of the World

Shots fired, I’ve been dealt a harsh truth by a couple of articles that I stumbled across on Now I’m talking about how I’m applying what I’ve learnt about the world in this Podcast.

In this Podcast:

Nobody cares until you produce the goods.

Your readers don’t care about your excuses, Amazon does not care that you wrote what you think should be a bestseller.

All that matters is what you produce.

The problem with the world is, people look at it with wildly inaccurate perceptions. They think the Karate Kid is awesome. The Karate Kid is a lie. You can’t just do one training montage and go from being sucky to being awesome. Why didn’t they show the montage for what it really is? Because it sucks! working hard for 10 000 hours is dull as hell.

You hear of overnight successes in the Indie Publishing scene and say, huh, this is for me. You see Kindle Goldrush people selling their Udemy courses promising wealth for the low low price of $497 and think, hmm, I can afford to pay that to be successful. However, until you put in the time, you won’t get the results.

Scared yet?

If you want the true face of success in indie publishing, go look at Steve Scott. He wrote 50 books and has 11 years as an online entrepreneur before being an Overnight Success with Habit Stacking e-book. Go look at Hugh Howie, he wrote a bunch of books and struggled on his own before Wool took him into the big time. You know what? Both of them were baffled by the book that put them on the map. Hell, Scott admitted that Habit Stacking was not his best effort, and the ratings for it agreed with him. Howie had no clue why Wool took off when none of his other works before did.

If you look at that, then you will see the truth of the world. They produced the goods. They have stuff out there and is doing the thing until it made them famous enough for a scrub like me to know about their struggle.

Do you find that depressing? Then go produce the goods. Always be creating. There is a reason why that’s Podcast number 1. You’ll find yourself feeling better. We are creative beings, we are supposed to sit in a cubicle following orders, we are supposed to create stuff.

You know what’s holding you back? Your fears your doubts? Am I good enough?

It’s you that’s holding you back. Only you. do you know what freedom means? It means that you are free to fail to do anything and then blame others. Or you can be free to get on with it and produce the goods.

People will critisize what you’ve produced, and say that it’s worthless. Do you know what? They are not producing the goods, and that’s why they’re nasty. Deep down they know that they need to produce too. The only thing that is worthless is someone who does not produce something of value, and you’re not one of them.

Go out there and produce. That’s how you get your 10 000 hours to mastery. Butt in seat.

You alone have the power over failure and success. It’s not the market, your mum, your upbringing, your opportunities, it’s all you. Didn’t hit that book deadline? You’re not producing the goods. Book didn’t sell enough copies? You’re not producing the goods. Don’t know what went wrong? find out! the Internet is there for everyone.

How do you change all that failure into wins? By producing the goods. Do what you know is your best work right now, in marketing, organizing and marketing. You know what? You will find your capability expanding. So what if it’s not as good as Stephen King? You’re not him. He got where he got by producing the goods and that’s the only difference between you and him. You have yet to produce the goods to the level that he has. I’m sure he sucked when he started too, but he did his best, and his best became better and better. So will yours.

Links: (NSFW)

The post DWP Episode 16: The Harsh Truth of the World appeared first on Dauntless Writing.

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