My Journey to Become a Writer 02/09/2024 Post #40

Informative Image

Well, it’s been forty days of wandering through this journey of daily posts.

Today I attended The 2024 Boston Writing Workshop. It’s an online event with two days of classes, plus a lot of pre-recorded content.

I started by listening to Carlisle Webber from Fuse Literary teach a class on constructing a pitch for agents and probably watched it at least three times, because I’m scheduled to make my first pitch tomorrow to Mara Cobb from Martin Literary Management.

When I looked Mara up, I was glad to see we have some things in common. That made me feel less nervous.

What Did I Accomplish Today to Be a Writer?

I do usually make myself keep the lights off until my five a.m. alarm bells start their song; but I have to confess I did crack open my laptop at around four, trying to figure out what to do about Woo Commerce. When it came down to it, I realized I ought to put that component of my website project on hold, because it’s taking attention away from my writing.

I did Day 40 of the 100 Words a Day Writing Challenge 2024 through LA Writer’s Lab.  

I watched the class taught by Alec Shane on getting opening pages of a manuscript to stand out.

The next class was by Amy Nielsen about why an agent might pass on a submission. She happens to work for The Purcell Agency. I don’t know if there’s a relation there or not; but maybe I should start name dropping my own last name, instead of sticking with Jody Susan. 🙂

After that there was a class on creating a brand as an author by Lacy Phillips.

Next came Crafting Query Letters that Sell by Katie Reed.

The first day of the Boston Writing Workshop was wrapped up by Stephanie Winter, who spoke on crafting a captivating book proposal.

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

My brain was pretty full after all that information. Hopefully I can implement what I’m learning.

Stuff I find myself saying:  Oh dear.

– Jody Susan

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

I said “Wait on WooCommerce” to myself this morning. I need to take things one at a time, instead of darting back and forth between ideas. I did have the idea to add an “anthology” section to my menu, where I could share audio versions of my short stories, poems and songs. We’ll see if that happens, or if I get side tracked once again. Mostly, I need a full-spectrum strategy, instead of getting distracted by little details that “need doing”.

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

I’m still stunned by the word count on my manuscript. I feel the need to cut it down, because of the normal marketplace standards; but going in there with “scissors” right now feels overwhelming. Thankfully some people have stepped forward as readers – having a fresh perspective will probably help me see things more clearly.

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

Tomorrow is my first pitch. I’m hoping I won’t get tongue tied.

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

I was encouraged that today the presenters put more emphasis on the importance of a website presence over having a social media following. That was a huge relief. I’ll still work on growing my platform; but it’s not something I want to make my focus.

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

Still blogging; but I haven’t touched other topics I want to, because of a lack of time. Hopefully I can get back to doing that soon. I don’t like having so many unfinished drafts.

Not so Fun Fact About Me:  I start more than I finish.

What I’m Doing About Networking as a Writer

Being part of the writing conference today was good. It helps me have a better idea of the world beyond my computer screen and what it’s like to start the process toward publishing. I also spent time speaking with Lori Overmyer, who is currently reading my manuscript. She’s encouraged me to get a business card made and have my picture taken for a “headshot”. I told her I’d rather hide under a houseplant, like I did here; but I suppose I should go ahead and get a decent picture.

Decorative Image

Me wearing a fern on my head instead of a party hat.

“Do you like my new hat?”

– P.D. Eastman
“Night is not a time for playing” – or for working on WooCommerce. I need to remind myself of that.

Today I was thinking that this “old dog” doesn’t have much capacity for learning many more new tech tricks right now. My head’s a little too full trying to get “About Trees” ready for publication. Maybe that’s why I’m randomly sitting here watching a kid’s book about dogs from my couch cushions, which are still on the floor, since I haven’t made arrangements to get the frame through the front door. At least I’ve finally found the fourth leg.

Anyway, I forgot everything about the Go Dog, Go book, except that one line, “Do you like my new hat?” How funny that it ends with dogs in party hats when I was originally going to tell you I was wearing that fern, because I’d been invited to a Zoom birthday and had been told to wear a party hat. A houseplant on my head felt more natural.

I really need to go to bed now, because I’m totally rambling.

What I’m Doing About Monetization as a Writer

Nope, nothing is happening with monetization at this juncture; but I registered for another writing conference for the summer and made my final payment for a writing retreat in the Spring. Spending money is not something I’m super comfortable with; but I can see how each of these events I’ve attended has propelled me along in the manuscript production process and made me more comfortable with the idea of making a pitch.

What I’m Doing About Social Media as a Writer

Breathing a sigh of relief. After today, I don’t feel quite as much pressure to have a huge platform at this point.

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

Trying to be more aware of how to protect my work so that Chat GPT and other comparable apps can’t pillage it. At this point, I don’t know what is possible in that realm.

What I’m Doing to Stay Organized as a Writer

I wrote today’s To Do list on a scrap of paper, because my planner looked too messy.

Looking Back at My Writing Journey

This has been a long day. I stepped in raccoon poop, so I might as well write about it; but really don’t need to.

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

If you’re still reading, my randomness is probably becoming a trial worth ranting about, so I will high tail it out of here. Goodnight.

Thanks for reading what I’m writing,

Jody Susan

If you’ve ever wanted to know what happens when Prune Juice and Pepto Bismol mix, please click below

Maybe that combination has never crossed your mind. Can you imagine the collision or intestinal confusion?


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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