But it did produce a (reasonably - at least in the title) succinct answer in my latest Beginners page in February's Writing Magazine, which I called 'The 3 secrets to successful writing'.
Actually there were more than three, but I threw a couple of others in for free. They included 'work hard and often', which to my mind is a no-brainer applying to any job if you want to succeed.
I mentioned it only because somebody at a writers' conference once remarked, "It must be lovely sitting down at home all day, scribbling away for a living." Yeah, like it's that easy.
To counter it, a quote I include in the article is the one that goes, 'the harder I work, the luckier I get'. It wasn't my invention, and I've heard it attributed to several people. But it really does carry more than a grain of truth.
The New Author profile this month is Mike Craven, who comes to bookshelves with his debut novel, 'Born in a Burial Gown', published by Caffeine Nights.
Mike uses the unusual theme of a central character (in his case DI Avison Fluke), having the restriction of a serious illness - Burkitt's Lymphoma, which prevents blood-clotting. If it were known by his superiors, it would instantly put him out of a job, as any injury could be fatal.
Since Mike also suffers this burden himself, he brings a great deal of personal knowledge to the character. In addition, having spent many years in the probation service working with dangerous offenders and extremists, he carries a great deal of useful background knowledge to add colour and depth to his writing.
You can read more about Mike on his website here.