My Journey to Become a Writer 02/19/2024 Post #50

Informative Image

Day 50 seems like some sort of milestone, and with that said, I do think I am going to change course just a little with these daily journey posts.

When I first started writing this series, my mindset was that becoming an author would be a side gig; but some circumstances have changed, and its now become my main line of work.

Beyond that, my goal isn’t just to “write books”; but to build a sustainable business that could potentially help others tell their stories, too.

Every book of interest has some sort of dilemma, and my real-life struggle has been trying to figure out how to balance writing with being a business owner.

I started Jody Susan Writes LLC last year; but have only really begun to build a foundation for how I want my company to function.

Are words my “product”?

I’m not sure.

If I offer services such as editing, tutoring, and creative writing coaching, am I actually just procrastinating by putting my manuscripts aside to help other people create their content?

How do I figure out balancing my time between networking, marketing, completing manuscripts, the push to appear on social media, making budgets and bringing in an income?

These are questions every small business owner knows. I guess as a writer I just can’t help but process them on a page – or in this case, in a post.

What Did I Accomplish Today to Be a Writer?

I did Day 50 of the 100 Words a Day Writing Challenge 2024 through LA Writer’s Lab.  

I sent the first ten pages of my story in for an upcoming critique with an agent, after nipping and tucking pages like they were Dolly Parton, in for a tune-up with her plastic surgeon.

I was trying to create a business card through Canva, then got the idea to add a QR code to it; but didn’t know what I’d link that to, so I wound up posting a previous recording of my poem “Of Dust and Ashes” on YouTube. I read it way too fast, which seems fitting, since I always seem to be on a rabbit trail…

I know the reason I tend to read so fast is because in the back of my mind, I fear I’m wasting people’s time by sharing my work.

I shared part of the second chapter of my manuscript with my online memoir group.

Zoom magnifies my insecurities.

I turned the camera on, and it was at a terrible angle, doing a close-up review of my double-chin. I readjusted the screen; but my glasses made a terrible glare. I scooched forward; but then felt like a “close talker” to the screen.

My turn to share came second.

When I stopped reading, and stopped screen sharing, and looked up to the Brady Bunch squares before me, I waited for some kind of words; but everybody was on mute. A split second can feel like a million years when waiting for feedback. My work felt Plain Jane compared to the sophisticated and touching essay that had just been shared, which was so relatable.

I wondered what mine was.

Comparisons can be so paralyzing.

I’d sped through every page, feeling pressure from myself to get through fast, so I wouldn’t rob anybody else of a turn. Someone graciously said they wished I would slow down, so they could keep up.

Everyone is truly kind in that group. I’m thankful for their willingness to encourage and critique. Both are needed.

But for some reason, I was biting my lip, trying not to cry – not about their words; but about mine – my multitudinous manuscript that needs to be cut down by nearly half, so it can fit comfortably inside the binding of a book.

Every time I get close to the finish line, it feels like I have to go back to the drawing board, and frankly, some days I don’t know that I really want to expose my story to the world anyway.

I went outside for a walk, feeling like my story was stupid, and why did I share it, and who do I think I am to think it’s worth telling, or people’s time?

I was responding to texts while I paced the drive; but finally decided to place a call to the person who is currently editing for me.

She said I made her cry in a coffee shop today.

It was the kindest thing she could have accused me of.

She’d gotten to a sad part she wasn’t expecting. I went back in time to when I was a sophomore in high school and hadn’t expected it either, and hadn’t wanted anyone to see just how devastated I was.

I don’t want to spoil the plot, so I’ll just shush. I’m just thankful that my words meant something to someone.

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

I’m afraid of remaining in a state of chaotic tasks. I want to settle into a streamlined system that makes sense – to be strategic, instead of being so reactionary with what “has to be done”.

Stuff I find myself saying:  I need to get the upstairs in order, so I can have an office that I can walk away from.

– Jody Susan

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

At least for today, as a nod to Day 50, I’m going to take a break from the questions I usually ask myself in these posts – partly because some headlines hardly get addressed; but also because I’ve now started delegating tasks to different “departments” to help keep my head on straight. Maybe those need to become more of my focus:

The five main areas to manage are:

  • Home Management
  • Office Management
  • Content Management
  • Research & Development Management
  • Marketing & Distribution Management

Right now my living room looks like a craft store sneezed on the carpet – I’ve got binders, colored paper, markers, and dry erase boards strewn in every direction, as I try to make a sensible plan for how I want to function and grow as a business.

Hopefully all that mess won’t stay there for long.

Well, I’d better get back to those business cards on Canva, because tomorrow looks like another full day.

Thanks for reading what I’m writing,

Jody Susan

I know I’ve had other discouraging days before. In those moments, it might be good to pause; but eventually, it’s good to move forward:


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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