Quantity beats Quality


You usually don’t hear the saying “quantity beats quality” a lot. It’s usually the other way around, and for good reason.

Quantity, however, beats quality in certain circumstances. A perfect instance is when a person is trying to learn a new skill and/or get better at something.

We all want to learn something new. When I worked as a news reporter a few years back, several of the journalists wanted to write novels (typical stereotype, I know). When I was taking classes at Texas State University, many other mass communication students wanted to learn coding or design.

Did ever get around to learning the skills? Some did, most didn’t. In my web design class, many of the students I talked to didn’t like the progress they were making towards learning coding and building their websites. When I asked them about how often they practiced, they mentioned only working on their websites during class time (which was a once a week night class).

It brings me to a thing I’ve seen over and over, learning by immersion, making as much as possible and treating what you’re learning about seriously.

I recently read a Fast Company article about this very topic: learning a new skill by doing it every day, embracing quantity over quality (in a good way).

The article has a bunch of examples ranging from a lady who taught herself graphic design in six months and got a job as a designer and a woman who make 180 websites in 180 days.

Outside of the article, I can think of another example: coding bootcamps. Around the county there are programming bootcamps that last on average three months and teach people to code and become web developers. In most of the bootcamps, student put in between 60-80 hours a week learning how to code. They live and breath it.

During the month of November, thousands of new and seasoned writers aim to complete the goal of writing a 50,000 word novel in the month known as NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). The task is to write at least 1,667 words everyday and doing word sprints everyday. 

The point is to just start doing it (whatever “it” might be) and do it everyday. One of my goals for next year is to learn a lot more about graphic and web design. I know in the beginning a lot of what I produce is going to be subpar or downright crappy, I (and you!) just have to keep going.

Even with things you can’t or shouldn’t do everyday (like say running to train for a marathon), visualize and think about it everyday. Think about how you can improve. Give it 100 is a great site for inspiration from people who have worked toward their goal everday for 100 days.

Never settle and let frustration consume you, keep moving forward and you will get better.

I have a lot I want to learn in graphic and web design. I’m going to be practicing everyday and reading up on design theory and layout.

I wish you all the best in your journey toward a new skill.

Cheers! Happy Learning!

Image credit


Book promotion: Stop trying so hard


Writing a book…is hard. You go through the happy, yet incredibly draining, experience of churning out the work. Then you manage to round up an editor, go through edits, get a cover designed, formatted, and (ah ha!) finally published.

Then it sort of goes nowhere.

Okay, maybe not nowhere. A good pile of reviews come in, book bloggers review the book, you do a blog tour, family and friends buy the book. After a few weeks or months of the promotion, where do you go?

You didn’t write the book for the money, although you would very much appreciate if people bought the book because then you could cover all the costs you went through to get editing, design, and formatting done.

Marketing your novel doesn’t have to be a draining experience. Sometimes, just maybe, the thing you need to do most of all is…very little at all.

I take it you have never heard of the web series High MaitenanceThe show revolves around the people a weed dealer interacts with as he delivers weed to customers around New York City (interesting, right?).

Well, there is insight to be learned from the makers behind High Maintenance. They did hardly any promotion at all for the series.

They sent out the first few episodes of the series to friends, family, and acquaintances…and that was it. They didn’t constantly pester bloggers to review their series, pitch to places, and so forth. The end result of their minimalist promotion? High Maintenance developed a cult following.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Not all people that do little to zero promotion for their products end up hitting it big. In fact, doing little promotion can be super risky.

Investing tons of your time to marketing your novel (when you should be writing) is another risk you take.

Well, there are some things you can do to help cut down on the time-consuming task of marketing your book and spend it on writing your next book.

Get people to sign up for your author newsletter

People who are subscribed to your author newsletter are around 25X more likely to buy your book than some random blogger you encountered or a Twitter follower you got.

If you don’t have an author newsletter, get one. Services like MailChimp help deliver the newsletter to potential subscribers.

Reach out to other people

Ksenia Anske, author of Siren Suicides, posts her word count for the day on Twitter. She responds to things people ask her. Best yet, she compliments other people on their work.

Talk about your writing process (no, really)

Okay seriously, don’t be another one of those people that posts pictures of your perfectly placed laptop along with a Starbucks cup. Show the actual process of your writing (and include visuals!).

Ksenia Anske posts on her blog about her writing process, how she is coming along, and so forth. She shows her writing process even when it is not so glamourous. People like a raw human element to things. 

When people see you at your rawest self, they have the ability to empathize and connect with you more. These are the types of people that buy your books.

Think of cool, subtle promotional techniques you can do for your book

You know that author newsletter you send out to people? What if had first few chapters of your work in progress in one of the newsletters. Send the first few chapters of your novel out, one by one, for free. Hugh Howey, author of the Wool series, did this at first. His books took off in popularity, partly due to it.

Ksenia Anske gives her books away for free, letting readers download files from the drafts of her novels. This in turn, gets her readers pumped up for the final version of the book.


Marketing a novel is hard work. Don’t let it consume your time and keep you from writing more. The purpose of your marketing should be on building a community around your books rather than just getting people to buy it.



  • This can be risky considering most self-published authors make less than $500 per year.