Diary of an indie writer, by Jas

Sharing my writing journey as it unfolds...👣

So after sending my latest (and what should be my last 🤞) set of amendments to my e-book formatter earlier in the week, I gently checked-in for an update this morning and got the following back:

So I’m in eager-waiting mode. I’m hoping this weekend I can get this uploaded (I’ve heard it can take 24-48hrs to display on Amazon), and that The Indie Author will be available to purchase at the start of next week. Needless to say, I’m excited!

In the meantime, I thought I’d do something a little different today and share 5 things that have particularly shaped and inspired me on this journey as a writer and creator.

I feel they remain as relevant now as they did when they were first published, and they are all free resources I have returned to and probably will continue to.

Here they are:

1) An e-book (PDF) 📜 18 Months, 2 Blogs, Six Figures, by Corbett Barr

Probably the first thing I read that helped me realise wow, you can earning a living as a writer?!

2) A TEDx talk 📺 How to find work you love, by Scott Dinsmore

Something that really spoke to me around the time I took ‘the leap’ and left my corporate job back in 2015.

3) A podcast episode 🎙️ Life as an Independent Artist, by Charlotte Erikkson

I (re)discovered this when I was on a flight and searching through my previously-downloaded stuff and it was so good. So good that I got very excited and posted a long twitter thread all about it.

4) A book 📖 The $100 Startup, by Chris Guillebeau

At a time when I was exploring “doing my own thing”, this book resonated with me amongst the sea of startup and entrepreneurship stuff I was reading.

5) A blog piece 📝 1000 True Fans, by Kevin Kelly

This concept underpins the creative business I am building. Charlotte Eriksson also talks about this piece in her podcast episode (see #3).

I hope you enjoy these as much as I have. If you’re someone who knows you want to make money from your writing, or you’ve started to do that already, I believe there’ll be at least something valuable in these that you’ll take away with you.

It’s been interesting for me to re-connect with these… I find I take away something different, or perhaps connect with it in a different way now that I have more experience on this path, each time I do.

Oh, and let me know if you have any favourite things about making money as a writer or creative person. I love learning about and diving into this stuff :)

by

Jas

📝 Friday, 15th October, 2021

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Hi, I’m Jas 😊 I’m a writer and soon-to-be author who has been publishing my writing since 2015. This is my weekly diary to document my writing journey & share my tips on writing, self-publishing and making money from books, sustainably 🌱

📔 To receive these diary entries as I publish them + buy a discounted copy of my book, The Indie Author, subscribe here.

It's felt like a good week.

The sorts of things which make my week a 'good' one is one where I manage to: - get things done in a focused manner - move my body in some way (walking, gym/stretch, etc) - have nourishing people-time - keep the basics in check (food, sleep)

I've been going back-and-forth with my book formatter in the last week or so. I was relieved for him to have been recommended a while back, which means after my little hiccup a couple of weeks back I was able to get things moving.

I got the first version back, and I quickly realised a bunch of things that needed changing, either because something looked strange in the Kindle previewer, or that I'd missed a couple of things (despite all those times I went through the book and ran a visual check, spell-check, grammar-check, all the checks).

Queue going back-and-forth a couple more times and, as I write this, I have what could be the final version in my inbox just waiting to be looked at.

In the meantime, I've been keeping myself busy this week with learning about Amazon keywords and categories, to help give myself the best possible launch, now for the e-book, and in the not-too-distant future (I'm hoping) for the paperback.

This feels like a whole new exciting world, and I'm treating myself like a scientist in a lab running experiments and just seeing what the outcomes are. I decided to invest in a tool called PublisherRocket which makes research easier and, given that I plan to release more books, the one-off $120ish price seemed a no-brainer.

Aside from that, I've been continuing to migrate INF Club –> Diary of an indie writer, from doing things like re-organising my youtube playlists to thinking about what sort of content schedule I'd like to go with, from this blog to my youtube and podcast stuff.

I've also enjoyed a couple of spontaneous coffee shop conversations this week, meeting a fellow entrepreneur, fellow INFP, and fellow German-speaker (well, I'm not fluent, but I can say a few words...). Whilst I tend to be 'head down' whilst I'm working, I've enjoyed being aware of my surroundings and striking up the odd conversation. If there's anything I enjoy it's a nourishing conversation, and it seems that more folks are working from coffee shops this days making them, perhaps, more interesting environments than they once were.

Away from my creative projects, I've enjoyed a couple of trips into London this last week, documenting one of those trips in this week’s vlog, as well as a cinema outing to see the latest Bond film, and Daniel Craig's last outing as the main man.

I thoroughly enjoyed it, it was nice to be back in a cinema, and I'm a sucker for a good love story which is what this Bond story very much was – coupled with some dreamy locations, classic cars and a wonderful track by Louis Armstrong.

video & audio diaries

🎥 Sunday vlog // stumbling across the London Marathon

🎙️ A conversation with Lauren Sapala on our sensitivity & how we manage it

by,

Jas

📝 Friday, 8th October, 2021

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Hi, I’m Jas 😊 I’m a writer and soon-to-be author who has been publishing my writing since 2015. This is my weekly diary to document my writing journey & share my tips on writing, self-publishing and making money from books, sustainably 🌱

📔 To receive these diary entries as I publish them + buy a discounted copy of my book, The Indie Author, subscribe here.

In part 9 of our little conversation series, my writer friend Lauren Sapala & I spoke about sensitivity and how me manage it.

We both happen to be introverts, Lauren is an INFJ and I’m an INFP.

This month’s conversation topic inspired by someone asking me my how I’ve learned to manage my sensitivity, whilst I was in away Madeira over the Summer.

Amongst other things, Lauren & I talk about:

- How we feel in our bodies - Counteracting screentime and computer/phone-scrolling - Managing & responding to emails - Why Lauren says “no” a lot / the books we’re currently reading - Giving ourselves *permission* to have what we need

📺 Watch in full

You can also find our other conversations here.

vlog #2

I also shared my 2nd vlog this week, opening up about why I’ve had to delay the release of my book.

🎥 vlog #2: I tried to self-format my book...

Jas’s journal, September

And finally, my journal entry for last month…

“Goodness, it's been quite the month.

Two big projects have been occupying my time of late. The first being my book, getting it finished and putting a launch process together. And the second being, a new direction and a re-brand.

Firstly, my book... So, I've had to be pretty focused as I've put the launch together and released it over the last couple of weeks, at the same time as getting the book completed and edited.

As this is book number one for me, it all continues to be a learning process. Figuring out the front and back pages that are needed, through to how to get the final version in a format that's presentable.”

📝 Read in full: Jas’s journal – September | or, 🎙️ listen via podcast.

by,

Jas

ps. My radio interview with allFM, talking about the story behind my new book, The Indie Author, is now available on Spotify 📻

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Hi, I’m Jas 😊 I’m a writer and soon-to-be author who has been publishing my writing since 2015. This is my weekly diary to document my writing journey & share my tips on writing, self-publishing and making money from books, sustainably 🌱

📔 To receive these diary entries as I publish them + buy a discounted copy of my book, The Indie Author, subscribe here.

Goodness, it’s been quite the month.

Two big projects have been occupying my time of late. The first being my book, getting it finished and putting a launch process together. And the second being, a new direction and a re-brand.

Firstly, my book… So, I’ve had to be pretty focused as I’ve put the launch together and released it over the last couple of weeks, at the same time as getting the book completed and edited.

As this is book number one for me, it all continues to be a learning process. Figuring out the front and back pages that are needed, through to how to get the final version in a format that’s presentable.

As I’ve discovered, there are a bunch of DIY tools out there to get your book from a Word document to an e-book, i.e. one that is compatible on the Kindle and other e-reader devices. I gave a couple of these tools a try, before conceding that this wasn’t my forte.

Looking at some of these seemingly simple and intuitive editors, I’d expected to just paste in the body of the book, and some front and back pages, and then voila. Alas, no such luck.

As a creative who’s gotten so used to doing everything myself, from making website changes through to my podcast and youtube editing, formatting the book myself – especially for something that seemed do-able – just seemed natural. Whilst my work isn’t, as yet, bringing me in sustainable revenue, even more reason to be frugal and cut my costs as much as possible by doing things myself.

However, the realisation I’ve made in this last week has been that, actually, book formatting is one of those things best outsourced. For a couple of hundred dollars, it’s well worth the investment in terms of the time and energy saved (it would take me hours and hours to achieve a finished article as polished as an expert would do), and having an e-book that looked professional and served me as an asset that would continue to be available and (I hope) bring in revenue as part of my book catalogue for the rest of my life. In short, it’s a no-brainer. In this instance, not doing it myself is the smartest decision.

Thankfully, I’ve had a couple of book formatters previously recommended to me. My hope is that, very soon, I’ll have the final versions ready and can release the book.

Due to this little formatting hiccup, I’ve had to delay my launch date. After an initial emotional wobble (aka scrambling about for another magical DIY book formatting solution that would solve all my problems in 5 minutes), I realised that everything will be OK… I’ve been working on this project for a couple of years now, so a few more days is not the end of the world.

And my second pieces of news is that, with the release of the book, I’ll be stepping into my identity as a full-time writer and writing coach.

And so, instead of blogging and creating content for INF Club, the blog I’ve been working on for the last 3 years, my blog, podcast and youtube channel are now called ‘Diary of an indie writer’.

I’ll be sharing my journey as a full-time writer as it unfolds, alongside my tips for fellow writers who would like to write books and stories, and make an income from their writing in a healthy way.

My hope and intention is to make a sustainable income as a writer and writing coach, in a way that feels good for me and keeps me healthy (i.e. not burned out).

With my ‘Diary of an indie writer’ blog, I hope I can help and inspire others to step into their identity as writers, write the books that they need to write, and share them with the world.

And so, alongside preparation for my book’s release, I have been re-branding my blog, podcast and youtube channel, and the transition is now pretty much complete. As soon as I release The Indie Author book, I will no longer be sending newsletters to my INF Club audience, but instead my full-time home will be indiewriter.net.

It’s an exciting time, but I’ve also had to be extra careful this month when it comes to managing my energy and not over-stretching myself.

Creating space in my day and giving myself permission to let me mind and body rest.

After the wobble I mentioned I had with my book formatting, at the end of last week, I gave myself the permission to enjoy my weekend. I spent time with my family, watching TV and the boxing on Saturday night. On Sunday, I had a lie-in, caught up on the UFC bouts from the early hours, and went to the gym before heading to Church in the evening.

I’m slowly figuring out what I want the last 3 months of this year to look like, now that September is almost finished. I’m excite to step in and embrace the lessons I’ve learned so far as a blogger and creator since 2015, and especially in the last couple of years when I’ve really embraced my identity as in independent creator, and now as a writer.

by,

Jas

📝 Wednesday 29th September, 2021

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Hi, I’m Jas 😊 I’m a writer and soon-to-be author who has been publishing my writing since 2015. This is my weekly diary to document my writing journey & share my tips on writing, self-publishing and making money from books, sustainably 🌱

📔 To receive these diary entries as I publish them + buy a discounted copy of my book, The Indie Author, subscribe here.

Today I'm sharing the last of 3 special fireside conversations with indie authors who have contributed to my new book. It also happens to be episode 75 of the podcast 😊🎉

Rebekah Mallory Rebekah, author of Train Gone: A CODA Ex-JW Memoir, is an INFJ, a CODA (Child Of Deaf Adults) turned nationally certified ASL interpreter, a bibliophile, logophile, writer, and doomsday cult survivor. She is drawn to dark souls, misfits, rebels, outliers, the misunderstood, and the hardened because she believes those hard, rebel edges can be softened. She lives in the sticks of New Hampshire with her husband and two dogs, Liesel and Dexter | rebekahmallory.com

Katherine Turner Katherine is an award-winning author, editor, and a life-long reader and writer. She grew up in foster care from the age of eight and is passionate about improving the world through literature, empathy and understanding. In addition to writing books, Katherine blogs about mental health, trauma, and the need for compassion on her website (below). She lives in northern Virginia with her husband, two children, and two playful kittens | kturnerwrites.com

What we talked about:

– “Did you write with a genre/themes in mind?”

- Katherine shares hows she started writing her memoir, Resilient

– “Did writing compliment your therapy?”

- Katherine and Rebekah share their thoughts and feelings around marketing (+ Rebekah shares what to look out for when it comes to cults)

– “Have you figured out ways to do marketing in a way that feels more authentic to you?”

My first vlog

And just a couple of hours ago, I spontaneously recorded my first short vlog, talking about how I feel a couple of days from launching my first book 😁 Here it is:

🎥 My 1st vlog :) A couple of days away from my book release... [~5mins]

by,

Jas

📝 Wednesday, 22nd September, 2021

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Hi, I’m Jas 😊 I’m a writer and soon-to-be author who has been publishing my writing since 2015. This is my weekly diary to document my writing journey & share my tips on writing, self-publishing and making money from books, sustainably 🌱

📔 To receive these diary entries as I publish them + buy a discounted copy of my book, The Indie Author, subscribe here.

After recently sharing why I made The Indie Author book, in my latest episode I share how I've made the book.

I talk about:

  • How 'The Indie Author' transitioned from blog to book
  • How I found self-published authors to interviews for the book
  • Under-estimating the editing process(!)

🎥 watch or 🔉 listen to episode #74

by,

Jas

📝 Monday, 20th September, 2021

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Hi, I’m Jas 😊 I’m a writer and soon-to-be author who has been publishing my writing since 2015. This is my weekly diary to document my writing journey & share my tips on writing, self-publishing and making money from books, sustainably 🌱

📔 To receive these diary entries as I publish them + buy a discounted copy of my book, The Indie Author, subscribe here.

Here’s the second of 3 special fireside conversations, with self-published authors who have contributed to my new book: The Indie Author.

This one is with authors Anja Schüler-Renner and John Davis.

Anja is the author of the novel City of Lies, has also published non-fiction books, and is a coach for intuitive writing, based in Dresden, Germany.

John is an author, writer, speaker, and musician based in South Florida.

We talked about:

- How to navigate the delicate balance of ‘writing’ and ‘making money’

- How to write from an authentic place (for yourself) and for an audience (for others)

- How Anja & John approach their writing, marketing and editing processes

- and more

🎥 watch on youtube

I hope you enjoy this conversation, and I can’t wait to invite you to the book’s pre-launch in just a few days’ time (:

by,

Jas

ps. feel free to share this link with any writer friends who might be interested in following the book launch & access the discounted pre-launch price. Thank you for your support!

📝 Thursday, 16th September, 2021

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Hi, I’m Jas 😊 I’m a writer and soon-to-be author who has been publishing my writing since 2015. This is my weekly diary to document my writing journey & share my tips on writing, self-publishing and making money from books, sustainably 🌱

📔 To receive these diary entries as I publish them + buy a discounted copy of my book, The Indie Author, subscribe here.

Today, I’m sharing why I started 'The Indie Author' project, and why I've stuck with it over these last two years.

(I definitely haven't completed every project I've started, believe me...)

I talk about:

  • Why I'm so passionate about self-publishing and the 'indie' movement
  • How traditional pubishing isn't the only way, and may not be the best fit for you right now
  • The writers who blew my mind
  • The power of learning from stories vs information

📺 watch on youtube

Length: ~17mins

It's also the first video I've filmed on my iPhone, which gives a higher-quality picture and appears to have solved the lagging I've been experiencing with my recent videos 🙌

I hope you enjoy it,

Jas

p.s. I announced the schedule for my book release this week!

Here it is, you can click the image to reply to or share the tweet:

📝 Monday, 13th September, 2021

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Hi, I’m Jas 😊 I’m a writer and soon-to-be author who has been publishing my writing since 2015. This is my weekly diary to document my writing journey & share my tips on writing, self-publishing and making money from books, sustainably 🌱

📔 To receive these diary entries as I publish them + buy a discounted copy of my book, The Indie Author, subscribe here.

I've been quiet for a couple of weeks but I'm excited to be writing to you today.

Almost exactly 2 years to the day since I started The Indie Author as a project, today officially marks the start of my book launch 🥳

To celebrate its launch, over the next couple of weeks I'm going to be sharing some things with you before releasing the book itself.

And so to kick things off...

I'm delighted to bring you a 3-way fireside conversation with two of the authors who contributed to the book, Lynnda Pollio and Ritu Kaushal.

Some of the things we talk about:

  • “What drew you to writing? Had you been writing before you wrote your books?”
  • Lynnda + Ritu share their writing process for their books, Trusting the Currents & The Empath's Journey
  • Indie publishing as a way to write from an authentic place, rather than writing for a particular genre
  • What 'marketing' has looked like for Ritu and Lynnda

🎥 watch on youtube

🔉 listen via podcast

Keep an eye on your emails over the next couple of weeks, I'll be sharing more with you before the book goes on sale 😊

by,

Jas

📝 Friday, 10th September, 2021

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Hi, I’m Jas 😊 I’m a writer and soon-to-be author who has been publishing my writing since 2015. This is my weekly diary to document my writing journey & share my tips on writing, self-publishing and making money from books, sustainably 🌱

📔 To receive these diary entries as I publish them + buy a discounted copy of my book, The Indie Author, subscribe here.

Here’s part 2 of the episode I shared last week, this time focusing on the blogging part of my writing journey:

You can watch it on YouTube

… or you can listen via podcast.

ps. sorry about the lag on the video – this is just my 3rd video using video editing software and I’m still learning! 😊

📝 Tuesday, 24th August, 2021

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Hi, I’m Jas 😊 I’m a writer and soon-to-be author who has been publishing my writing since 2015. This is my weekly diary to document my writing journey & share my tips on writing, self-publishing and making money from books, sustainably 🌱

📔 To receive these diary entries as I publish them + buy a discounted copy of my book, The Indie Author, subscribe here.

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