Wednesday, 10 July 2013

My favourite ever ABBA blog post

Writing for children is a weird job, and it often feels like the only people who completely understand that and can give truly relevant advice are other children’s writers.
That’s why I love An Awfully Big Blog Adventure.
My favourite ever ABBA blog post was written by Liz Kessler at the start of 2012, and it’s an equation. It’s an equation, and the explanation of an equation, about when to say ‘yes’ and when to say ‘no’ to author visits.
Here’s the equation:

(S¹º + P⁵ + W³) ≥ T ¹º + C³ – E³ - G³ 

Benefit...................must be greater than or equal to......................Effort
Where: S = Sales; P = Payment; W = Word of Mouth; T = Time; C = Cost; E = Enjoyment & G = Good causes

And here’s the equation on my study wall, where it has lived for more than a year, reminding me when it’s ok to say ‘no’, and therefore allowing me to thoroughly enjoy saying ‘YES’ for all the right reasons.

This is my favourite post because it’s about maths as well as stories (and I love maths too!), because it could only have been written by another children’s writer, and because it contains advice which helps me do this very weird job a little bit better.
Thanks Liz, and thanks ABBA!
Happy Birthday!

Lari Don is the award-winning author of more than a dozen books for all ages, including fantasy novels for 8 – 12s, picture books, retellings of traditional tales and novellas for reluctant readers. And she still says YES to lots of author events… 
Lari’s website
Lari’s own blog
Lari on Twitter 
Lari on Facebook


Elen C said...

Yes - it is a great way to help with tricky decisions!

Linda Strachan said...

Thanks for reminding us. It's a great blog and well worth reading again. It is always hard to work out when you should say 'No'

Nicola Morgan said...

I loved that one, too!

A huge happy birthday to ABBA and all who sail in her. I'm very very proud to be part of it.


Miriam Halahmy said...

Brilliant - even for my hopeless non-mathy brain. ABBA has given me so many opportunities to put into words my thoughts and feelings about writing. Roll on the next five years.

Liz Kessler said...

Just seen this! Thanks!!! Really pleased to know that my crazy equation actually works - and very honoured to see it on your study wall! :)