My Journey to Become a Writer 01/01/2024 Post #1

Day 1 1/01/2024 How To Become a Writer: a Daily Journal From A Small Potato Starting From The Ground Up Jodysusanwrites.com

I decided instead of sitting around struggling through the dilemma of “trying to be a writer” and feeling totally inept, I’d just turn that perceived problem into my solution and start writing my way through this year.

In the interest of full-disclosure, I’ll go ahead and tell you that I’m writing this one retroactively – on the third – from scribbled notes on my To Do List…

My plan is to use the same subheadings each day to keep myself on track toward my goal of “being a writer”. I don’t know the official starting point of when people earn the “r” after they write, and write, and write; but I figured maybe this could help somebody else feel less alone in the process.

As I have been striving toward this goal, I’ve found myself side-tracked so many times (usually by technology, or fear). I realize that in this day and age, there is a lot more to being a writer than just logging words on a page. I’m pretty socially backwards when it comes to social media, and I’ve ended up in numerous tangles trying to make my own website. As for “networking in my niche” – my introvert nature would much rather crawl in a hole – but all this seems to come with the territory of becoming a writer, too – and I’m starting to like it.

Stuff I find myself saying: Time-saving technology winds up being the biggest waste of my time and energy

– Jody Susan

I’m trying to consistently add the non-traditional aspects of being a writer to my To-Do List, without letting them take all my time and energy away from building a body of work. I thought I’d invite anybody who wants to along for the journey.

Here are some questions and categories I intend to touch on six days a week. We’ll see how this goes…

What Did I Accomplish Today to Be a Writer?

I registered for two writing workshops in February. The plan is to learn how to pitch my manuscript to an agent and practice that skill.

What Am I Afraid of Doing Next in My Journey as a Writer?

I tried to add WooCommerce to my website last week and messed some things up along the way – I’m terrified of breaking something; but not really wanting to spend the money to have someone do it for me.

It’s so hard to know when something is a Do-It-Myself type job, and I just shouldn’t give up – or if I’m being penny-wise and pound-foolish not to hand it over to an expert.

How Am I Balancing the Different Aspects of Being a Writer?

I’m trying to take a more balanced approach by looking at this list everyday:

What I’m Doing About Building a Body of Work

I signed up for the 100 Words a Day Writing Challenge 2024 through LA Writer’s Lab.

What I’m Doing to Complete My Manuscripts

I turned the first five pages of a manuscript in a few weeks ago to start the editing process for a book I just finished rewriting. She’s supposed to get back to me soon with some questions.

Words fail to describe how vulnerable it feels to pour myself into a project like that, then hand it over for someone to look at. My grandma had an aunt, named Mildred, who was an English teacher.

Mildred was notorious for wielding a red pen. When her nieces and nephews sent her letters, she’d return them, fully corrected for grammatical errors. Hopefully this editor will be thorough; but less severe.

What I’m Doing to Grow My Website

I didn’t do much on this day; but that was probably a good thing. I’ve wanted to add Woo Commerce and Stripe, so that I can start offering editing services; but I broke some things on my website in the process. Taking a break and getting my bearings in other areas seems like the best option right now. I’m not building the website; but at least I’m not inadvertently tearing it apart, so that’s a win for the website.

What I’m Doing to Build My Blog

I took some time to watch this YouTube Video, put out by Income School.

Juiciest 20 Blogging Questions From Our Comment Section

What I’m Doing About Networking

I spoke with someone who wants to read my manuscript.

What I’m Doing About Monetization

Digging holes. This is always the last area I look. I guess it’s because I feel a sense of shame to make money from my stories.

I earn a tiny amount from me ebooks; but it isn’t anywhere near what I’m pouring into my site, and I certainly don’t have a sustainable income from all this effort. I need to either make my writing “just a hobby”, or take monetization more seriously.

What I’m Doing About Social Media

I am still trying to get beyond the deer in the headlights phase of finally having social media. Here’s one of the few posts I’ve put up.

I have signed up for the main social media platforms, to preserve my name-place (please see the footer for those); but apparently with Facebook, I was supposed to list myself as a business and didn’t. Now I’m trying to backtrack and figure out how to fix that – which has been super frustrating and certainly has not made social media any more endearing.

What I’m Doing About Artificial Intelligence (AI)

I’m wondering if there is any point in trying to be a writer now; but I can see the shortcomings of AI, and plan to keep plugging away. I have several posts I’ve written on this topic that are still in draft form. I need to finish those and hit “publish”.

What I’m Doing to Stay Organized

I made a color-coded schedule and taped it to my fridge in plain sight, using painter’s tape.

Looking Back at My Writing Journey

I participated in a goal setting seminar for writers a few weeks ago, which was set up by Alan Watt. I had my pen ready to write down all sorts of ideas to start good habits; but was taken aback when he encouraged us to look at the last year and what we’d gotten done.

So many times, I forget to reflect on how far I have come and what the Lord has gotten me through.

This was good for me to think about, so I’m adding this section here, to also think about the steps that have gotten me to this place.

Five years ago I was filling out my application to go help Displaced People in Thailand – thinking I would head there, having no idea I’d wind up in Wabash, Indiana as a caregiver instead, due to two of my family members being diagnosed with cancer at the same time.

Four years ago I was working my way through The 90-Day Novel for the first time.

Three years ago I thought I was done with caregiving and traveling – having no clue that my mom was about to break her arm, nor of the pancreatic cancer diagnosis that would soon follow.

Two years ago, while my mom was recovering from chemo and facing the possibility of a Whipple Surgery, I took a financial risk and rented office space through Regus, hoping to have a quiet place to write.

One year ago I was trying to build my website from scratch, while my mom neared the end of a full year on Hospice. Life felt a lot like the cover of Shel Silverstein’s “Where the Sidewalk Ends”.

On days when I feel stuck, I need to look back and realize I’m closer than I was. If you want to read some encouragement on small steps in the same direction, you can click here.

Any Other Thoughts on Becoming a Writer, Random Rants, Tales or Trials…

All this may completely bore you; but for me, it’s a good way to build in some balance and accountability to my daily schedule.

Jody

I'm not sure what to say here: I once got second place in a dog-look-alike-contest? I know how to fold a fitted sheet? I'm pretty much a poster child for social backwardness - at least as far as social media is concerned; but I have some stories I think I'm supposed to share and am attempting to do that here, in this space.

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