My Journey to Become a Writer 02/02/2024 Post #33

Informative Image

Today I was very tempted not to sit down and write. I feel like I’m in a nesting mode, where I want to get all aspects of my life in order before I grow my writing any more.

Maybe that’s what an expectant mother feels – like she can’t get any bigger, and needs to make a clean and orderly spot for what she knows she’s about to bring forth.

I feel embarrassed to say it like that; but as I get closer to this book coming out, I am desperate to straighten my surroundings.

If you looked at my house, you’d probably laugh at this. My friend commented the other day, “Your room looks like a hotel, like no one lives here – other than that water glass on your nightstand.”

That’s the way I like it; but I know about the boxes upstairs. The unsorted papers and things of my mom’s that I still need to go through. The stuff from the storage unit I still need to move. The scattered documents on my desktop that need to be copied onto my external hard drive – not to mention my inboxes, which make me want to never open my email again.

All that has been hanging heavy upon my heart. There’s something in me wanting to get those things settled before I move forward – and especially before my writing expands another inch.

What Did I Accomplish Today to Be a Writer?

Despite all those feelings I listed above, I sat down and wrote anyway. I had an alarm set to start at 8a.m., and it will go off at 10a.m., reminding me it’s time to move on to other things. By ten I will probably have settled into a writing rhythm and won’t want to stop what I didn’t want to start. I guess that’s inertia for you. Speaking of which, tomorrow, I’d like to touch on the topic of setting my writing up, so that it’s “already started” before I even type. Maybe this would make it not so difficult to get going.

Early this morning I did do Day 33 of the 100 Words a Day Writing Challenge 2024 through LA Writer’s Lab.

Right now I’m participating in Quiet Friday, which is a one hour writing appointment with a short question and answer period with Al Watt before we start.  

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

I’m afraid that if I schedule things, I won’t be able to follow through on those commitments; but I’m also afraid that if I don’t schedule things, I won’t be able to follow through on those commitments.

Stuff I find myself saying:  I need to make a plan.

– Jody Susan

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

I tend to behave like a Marine Sergeant toward myself – giving highly confusing instructions (in a not very nice tone) that I wouldn’t use when speaking to anybody else – embellishing my unrealistic orders with not very nice attacks on my personhood.

I’m trying to change my ways and have more “civil conferences in my head” about what I want to get done, instead of barking orders at myself to hurry up and not make any mistakes.

What I’m Doing About Building a Body of Work as a Writer

I keep having interactions with people where I leave the conversation wondering, “Maybe I should let them read my book”, or, “Maybe I should give them my poem,” because something they have said has touched on some tender spot inside me that draws forth either compassion or pain – usually both.

In moments when I get discouraged (okay, “long stretches” is a more realistic time description), I think about what God has done in me during this time of writing, and how some very deep hurts have been healed, and it gives me hope to keep going.

To keep writing, and harder still, to hand over my heart and ask, “Would you want to read this?” there’s still that panicked sense of not wanting to push myself on others, a fear that they will feel like they ought to nod compliantly, smile and say, “Sure,” when it’s really the last thing they’d want to do.

I don’t want that at all, so I invariably follow my offer up with a totally insecure, “I mean, feel no pressure, please don’t feel like you have to,” to the point where it’s almost an apology – not just for asking them; but for even existing at all.

I don’t know if this description falls into the category of building a body of work, or if it’s more a matter of me having built one and now I’m bundling it up and shoving it out the door – into the cold world where it might be rejected or neglected. That’s a risk; but it also might be invited in to sit with someone by their fireside and become their friend.

What I’m Doing to Complete My Manuscripts as a Writer

Next week I’m attending an online conference to learn how to pitch to agents and write query letters to publishers. I’m actually doing the conference twice, because I know my learning style – it takes a while for things to sink in, so I want an early crash course to get me ready for the a second conference which will take place on a later weekend. At that one, I’m hoping to actually make my pitches. I just feel like I need a head start by doing this first one as a trial run.

I don’t know if this will help me, or not – maybe it’s like taking a parenting class where you might learn a little; but nothing like the real life lessons of having a newborn.

What I’m Doing to Grow My Website as a Writer

I’m making my website like a little nest. I believe that if I’m going to grow this as a business (and not bust my brain at the seams), I’m going to need to set up some parameters for operating smoothly. So, I’ve been making “job descriptions” and writing down lists for how various tasks can be done smoothly. This is helping me settle into the idea of growth on a more sustainable schedule.

What I’m Doing to Build My Blog as a Writer

Today I added drafts of these daily journals for the next nine days. Doing the behind the scenes work to get the formatting and photos set up in one big batch should make sitting down to write the content much more efficient.

I pre-scheduled them, so that if I don’t put words in, the empty pages are still going to press – even if my face turns red about it. Having a deadline like that should help me go ahead and get the work done early, so I don’t wind up stressed by the end of the day.

Not so Fun Fact About Me:  I can’t tell if some spots on my computer screen are misplaced periods, or dots that need to be cleaned. I definitely need to wipe off my screen. Period.

What I’m Doing About Networking as a Writer

Right now I’m writing this in the “accountability writing group” time slot. If I hadn’t put it on my schedule, and set an alarm, and reminded myself to follow through, I probably wouldn’t be sitting here now. I’m glad I kept this appointment, and I’ll especially be glad as my bedtime gets closer, and I just want to close my eyes, because the work will already be done.

*Editor’s Note: Now I’m in my second group for the day, Quiet Friday, reviewing my work and adding edits.

What I’m Doing About Monetization as a Writer

I’ll just skip to the trivia question, because my work in this area is so trivial.

Trivia Question:  How much has Jody Susan earned in total on her “Riding the Train: That’s How I Roll” eBook?

Answer: The amount is so trivial, it isn’t worth speaking of.

Anybody who says, “Just write an eBook and put it on Amazon, you’ll make money for sure,” doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

I’d guess there are millions of books on KDP by now. It’s easy for a manuscript to get lost in the sea of people trying to be authors.

I haven’t done much of anything to promote mine; but that is on the list of things To Do. I guess right now I could make a pretty shameless plug; but I’d be lying to call it that, because I’m still pretty embarrassed to do so:

Buying this book is one way you can support this site; but as I said before “Feel No Pressure!” (I’m practically apologizing for mentioning it!!! 🙂

What I’m Doing About Social Media as a Writer

I do want to add my eBooks to Audible, especially the ones I’ve yet to list on Amazon. I liked this post by Emily Morrow from Really Very Crunchy about her experience making an audiobook, reminding me that I’m not the only one who’s nervous about recording, and not the only one with vocal insecurities…

I have spoken with a recording studio in Kokomo, and am still looking into doing this someday…

What I’m Doing About Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a Writer

As I prepare a check-off list for pre-scheduling my posts, I am wanting to add in tags; but still haven’t been sure how to go about doing that. Someone recommended copying and pasting my post into Chat GPT to ask for a list of recommended tags. I haven’t done this, and am still unsure of how I feel about it.

To read more about what Chat GPT is, and what I thought it was, please click here – but feel no pressure.

Maybe I’m sorry I mentioned it. 🙂

I guess in a way, the tags are for Artificial Intelligence to read – not my audience, so is it ethically okay as a writer to have AI write something that it will be reading for itself? I don’t want to utilize Chat GPT for content; but what about search engine optimization?

What I’m Doing to Stay Organized as a Writer

I’m prescheduling posts, and sticking to the time blocks I set out to follow for February – using my phone’s alarm clock as a friendly reminder to switch gears when I’ve told my future self to do so.

Looking Back at My Writing Journey

I’m starting to feel a little more settled in than I did a few months ago, or even a few days ago.

Well, the alarm bells on my phone are dinging and donging at me, so I guess I’ll have to elaborate more another time.

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

Nope. Just glad I sat down and wrote.

Thanks for reading what I’m writing,

Jody Susan

For more on why I don’t want Chat GPT to write my content, please click below:


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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