My other title to that would’ve been: “can magicians pull the same rabbit out of a hat twice?” Art, to many of us, feels a little like magic; there’s this uncertainty about what’s happening in the magician’s hat and mind. It’s hard to fathom how a writer transforms an idea into a written narrative, and, in my brief experiences in trying to write longform content, we don’t know whether this narrative was planned or improvised from page to page.
Before I continue, what does scale and scope mean? It’s a measure of efficiency in production, allowing for both the wide roll out of single products at costs that remain constant or decrease per unit, as well as using synergies in production capabilities to make production of multiple products more efficient. Think of a printer producing a lot of posters without having to buy additional printers (scale) and think of an engineering team being reused to work on new products (scope).
Writing, as mentioned, is often perceived as an artform, but the truth of it is that like magic, there’s a science and process behind it. Sure, any piece of writing will have unique elements, but the resources used (place, people, time, writing & research tools) do not change that much between different “production runs.” Similarly, capabilities used for distribution, marketing, and sales are also a constant to a great degree. That means that you can set a baseline for the cost of creativity and work at fine tuning that.
If you read about the workflow of writers, you’ll notice that they build routines for themselves structured around time and place. If you expand that thinking a little, you can see networks of people that surround talented creatives enabling them to not only get out one creative product, but many. This is a comparable network to any creative in any industry, that has found these enablers to getting their content/product out there.
Scale in writing can be achieved through maintaining a steady output with clear distribution and marketing channels. Scope in writing occurs from repurposing resources, like an idea or even a book into new stories and different media. And by using existing networks and a customer base to disseminate that new content out there, without having to reinvent those wheels.
I know this all sounded very business like and perhaps generic, but it allowed me to put some of the thinking on this topic onto paper, and of course I hope it helps you too.
As always, to be continued or TBC.