On Becoming a Statistic

By Valerie Taylor

Lately I’ve had counting on my mind. Whether it’s the number of daily COVID-19 cases, the number of paper towels I use in a day as I try to ration what’s in short supply, or the days until What’s Not Said (She Writes Press), my debut novel, is released on September 15, 2020.

More numbers are swirling through my brain these days than words are…or should be. I’m a writer, after all.

We live in a world of counters, wouldn’t you agree?

Sometimes we count up, like the census, our car’s mileage, or sheep when we’re desperately trying to fall asleep. Sometimes we count down, as when a spaceship launches at Cape Canaveral, or when the ball drops on New Year’s Eve in New York’s Times Square, or the final seconds of the Super Bowl.

After I retired four years ago from the corporate grind, I began counting the books I read and tracking them on Goodreads. On average, I’m reading thirty to forty books a year now…and not one of them is a business or management book!

I’m sure you could think of dozens of examples of things we count every single day.

We even sing about counting. Remember songs like, The Drifters’ I Count the Tears; Paul Simon’s 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, or Five Little Monkeys Jumping on a Bed, which my granddaughter loves singing whether or not there’s a bed nearby to transform into a trampoline.

As a soon-to-be published author, I am counting down to September 15 with tremendous excitement and trepidation given What’s Not Said is the first book in the series to be released. Suddenly, this dream I’ve had since I wrote my first story in elementary school about a mission to Mars is finally coming true sixty years later. (But then, who’s counting?)

Obviously, I am.

I’ll be counting the number of reviews posted by readers on popular book review sites like NetGalley and Goodreads and on the variety of bookseller sites. Experienced authors tell us newbies “ignore the reviews,” but it’s really hard to follow that advice. After all, curiosity killed the cat…even with its nine lives.

Obsessively, over the last fifteen days as I run up to D-Day, I count my social media posts. Have I covered Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram effectively? And how many followers, likes, and retweets am I getting?

But does all that really matter in the long run? Not really. For me, it’s about the 75 million mature women in the country who popularized chick-lit when it emerged in the 1990s and who are now looking for relatable characters, yet are rarely able to find them. Until now, I’m hoping.

In her recent review of What’s Not Said, D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review said:

Taylor “…develops good characters and realistic scenarios, creating encounters that keep the action nicely paced and the characters believable and appealing.”

Further, I’ve even counted the number of secrets and lies in What’s Not Said. There are at least ten. And while they’re revealed in the first book, the story gets even more complex in the sequel, What’s Not True (She Writes Press) that will be released in August 2021.

Finally, did you know Worldometer counts the number of books published each and every minute of each and every day? Take a guess. As of midday today, September 1, 2020, how many books do you think were published worldwide this year? A staggering 1,799,297.

Tomorrow on September 15, What’s Not Said will add to this mammoth to-be-read pile. So what does that make me? A statistic, for sure. One I’ll be proud to tout.

If you like, find out more about what I’m reading, reviewing, and writing at:



Twitter @ValerieEMTaylor

Instagram ValerieETaylor

Finally, many thanks to Linda Ulleseit for the opportunity to guest post here and to add her to my list of talented authors who inspire me every day.

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