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What Did I Accomplish Today to Be a Writer?
Today was a different kind of day. I’m trying to get a bird’s eye view of being a writer, rather than allowing myself to be so myopic (is that the right use of that word?). I feel like I’ve been missing the forest for the fibrous particles of the trees. I’m trying to change my focus.
For that reason, I actually cancelled my “writing appointment” this morning. I’ve been thinking through the “why” part of writing, and I know for me, it has a great deal to do with wanting to be free, to live in order and peace, to reduce stress.
Too bad for me, being self-employed so often has the opposite effect. I tend to be a slave-driver, making myself a cog in a self-created machine that demands I keep churning out content and allows no questions or comments about whether the multitude of tasks I require of myself are necessary or even useful.
I do want to write; but I feel like I need to step back, get some order (especially since I still haven’t completely moved in), and formulate a plan – not a perfect one; but one with a picture of what I want to accomplish.
So, instead of writing, I listened to an audiobook on business planning while I made four quiches (because I’d bought some whipping cream on clearance that was quickly becoming sour). Three are in the freezer now.
I did do Day 29 of the 100 Words a Day Writing Challenge 2024 through LA Writer’s Lab. This has become a part of my morning routine, so I hardly have to remind myself to pull out my journal. I like that. I want more facets of my life to fall into place like my mornings do. I think if I could form some habits with writing and running a business, the way I run my life the first few hours of the day, I’d have a lot less decision fatigue, and maybe even be far less scatter-brained.
What Am I Afraid of Doing Next in My Journey as a Writer?
I’m scared of sitting down and writing out a business plan; because I’m afraid I won’t have the discipline to follow my own directions.
How Am I Balancing the Different Aspects of Being a Writer?
I started listening to a book on Audible called “The E Myth Revisited” by Michael E. Gerber. Wow – has this hit a nerve! So much so that I even just used an exclamation point, which I always hesitate to add. He talks about the tensions that come with trying to run a business, that inside each owner there is an entrepreneur (the visionary), a manager (the organizer), and a technician (the skilled laborer), and how each of these has a different idea of how things ought to be done and what’s most important.
I don’t want to give away the whole book; but basically, he points to the inner-conflict these facets cause in a business owner, making him go berserk at times, because of too much tension. I found this insight to be fascinating, and my response was, “No wonder I’m so stressed!” (again with an exclamation point).
Anyway, this has made me step back and seek to think through each “job” in this business that I’m creating, and how I want those roles to operate – even if every one of them has “Jody Susan” on the nametag.
What I’m Doing About Building a Body of Work as a Writer
I did participate in my memoir group this afternoon and took a turn reading my first few pages. The insights from the other group members were really helpful. Sometimes I can stare so long at a piece, it really helps to read it out loud to others.
I appreciated their supportive comments, and the questions they raised for clarification.
What I’m Doing to Complete My Manuscripts as a Writer
This evening I went through those pages and made some changes, based on their suggestions. I’m especially thankful for the timing of this, because I’m supposed to be turning those pages in quite soon as I begin the task of pitching to agents.
What I’m Doing to Grow My Website as a Writer
Today I was thinking through how I can better organize my website, so that it can be more user friendly. I have quite a few topics I write on, and I want to make sure users can navigate around my site without getting dizzy. I’m also wondering if I ought to be building it so that it can expand into multiple businesses, or just stay under the Jody Susan Writes umbrella.
What I’m Doing to Build My Blog as a Writer
I have been trying to figure out a way to systematize my posting plan – not to make it sterile; but to make it more consistent. I want people to know what to expect when they come to my blog, and I want to have a better schedule (that is more strategic and far less chaotic). I think if I can do that, the end product will be much better, and my brain will be better-off.
What I’m Doing About Networking as a Writer
There are about eight of us that finished The 90-Day Memoir class together and decided to keep meeting. I attended that today, and messaged some of the members through Slack.
I have also been touching base with a dear friend who happens to be a poet. She’s been giving me some recommendations on reading material and a writing group.
What I’m Doing About Monetization as a Writer
I’ve been thinking through a budget; but haven’t gotten it nailed down yet.
What I’m Doing About Social Media as a Writer
As for social media, I’m setting it aside for the moment. I realized I’m like a store that hasn’t gotten their inventory stocked. I don’t really want to invite customers in until I can get my act together.
What I’m Doing About Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a Writer
If I were to hire anybody, it would be to have help with this facet – adding in ALT text for my images, coming up with good keywords to use in headlines, putting hashtags into my posts, looking at trends – this is all stuff I can do – but not exactly my passion. On the other hand, I don’t like to delegate, so I need to decide which is worse for me – being a boss, or trying to deal with these technical details myself.
What I’m Doing to Stay Organized as a Writer
I’m listening to “The E-Myth Revisited”, and trying to come up with a business strategy. It’s time to look at a map and move forward, instead of huffing and puffing away on a treadmill headed nowhere.
I’m also going through the unpacked boxes of paperwork from my mom, to cull information that might be helpful for future stories – and eliminate clutter.
I cleaned out a cabinet that I will probably use as my “recording studio” until I can get my cargo trailer set up as an office.
Looking Back at My Writing Journey
As I thought through “The E Myth Revisited”, I got a better view of how the different facets of trying to be a writer have fit together. On one hand, I have been a writer of novels, and on the other, a creator of a website. In between, I’ve been trying to come up with business strategy, and deal with technology, and take care of bills, not to mention time management, oh, and converting a cargo trailer into a tiny house, and caregiving – no wonder I’m tired.
I’m seeing how each facet is necessary to the work I’m doing; but also how there is a built-in tension between each area. I really want to learn how to manage this pull toward different values with more grace and peace – and I want to have time to dust, vacuum, and keep my kitchen and bathroom clean.
Any Other Thoughts on Becoming a Writer, Random Rants, Tales, or Trials…
I know that if I work hard enough – and watch enough YouTube videos, I can generally solve any problem; but that’s my biggest problem.
Fun Fact About Me: People have said of me, “She can do anything.”
Not so Fun Fact About Me: People have said of me, “She can do anything.”
I might be totally taken wrong for sharing that sentence here; but I’m taking that risk, because it’s a conversation I think I ought to be open about. I do have a tendency to be able to figure out how to do things. I thank God for that. It is a strength; but it’s also my very worst weakness.
Sometimes my skills can truly interfere with my calling.
I can learn coding; but should I learn coding?
I can cut my own hair; but should I cut my own hair?
I can do my own taxes; but should I do my own taxes?
I have a real tendency to be penny wise and pound foolish. I’m really thinking through what tasks to take on myself, and when it’s more appropriate to outsource. This is probably the hardest part of running a business for me. I tend to tell myself I’m being wasteful or not working hard enough when I even hint that maybe I should find somebody to do something for me.
As I plan out my business, I’m really thinking through how to balance what I do, and what I ask others to do, and what I volunteer for when I see others struggling with something I’m skilled at (or even remotely familiar with). I really am having to learn to slap my hand over my mouth, because so often, I am tempted to take up the slack on someone else’s project – probably because I’m procrastinating on mine, or thinking theirs is much more important.
Well, enough of that for tonight…
Thanks for reading what I’m writing,
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