X is for X Factor
When we hear the words X Factor, the singing show comes to mind. But the show isn’t just looking to see if the contestants can sing, it’s looking for that something special. What makes one singer stand out above other great singers? The spark, the uniqueness, the specialness that makes a person shine. Basically, the music moguls are looking to see who will appeal to an audience more than others and consequently earn the most money.
It’s the same when we send off our manuscripts to an agent or a publisher. They will only accept something if it shines out above the rest of the slush pile. If it has a specialness that they are certain will rake in the cash.
So how do we make our writing stand out above the other high quality writing that will appeal to a larger audience?
As a teacher, I used to help students to recognise their own specialness and teach them how to hone those qualities as well as strengthen the skills they were less confident in. We are all individuals and all have the X Factor. The key is to tap into our own specialness in order to shine. Here is a recipe I shared with students:
The X Factor Recipe
Identify your own strengths and weaknesses
Work hard to enhance those strengths and weaknesses
Never say ‘I can’t do it’
Believe in yourself
Become more self-reliant
Accept support when offered
Listen to constructive criticism
Take control of your own dreams and ambitions
Never stop learning
Smile a lot!
How would you sum up the X Factor in one word? What would you add something to this old recipe?