Diary of an indie writer, by Jas

a blog to share my writing journey, and help others start theirs 👣✍️

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

ps. subscribe over here to receive my entries as I publish them, and I’ll send you my 📕 ‘Become a blogger in 21 days’ guide too. And if you’re new here, hi 😊, I’d suggest starting 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

ps. subscribe over here to receive my entries as I publish them, and I’ll send you my 📕 ‘Become a blogger in 21 days’ guide too. And if you’re new here, hi 😊, I’d suggest starting 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

ps. subscribe over here to receive my entries as I publish them, and I’ll send you my 📕 ‘Become a blogger in 21 days’ guide too. And if you’re new here, hi 😊, I’d suggest starting 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

📝 Thursday, 16th September, 2021

ps. subscribe over here to receive my entries as I publish them, and I’ll send you my 📕 ‘Become a blogger in 21 days’ guide too. And if you’re new here, hi 😊, I’d suggest starting 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

📝 Monday, 13th September, 2021

ps. subscribe over here to receive my entries as I publish them, and I’ll send you my 📕 ‘Become a blogger in 21 days’ guide too. And if you’re new here, hi 😊, I’d suggest starting 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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ps. subscribe over here to receive my entries as I publish them, and I’ll send you my 📕 ‘Become a blogger in 21 days’ guide too. And if you’re new here, hi 😊, I’d suggest starting 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.

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

by,

Jas

📝 Tuesday 24th August, 2021

ps. subscribe over here to receive my entries as I publish them, and I’ll send you my 📕 ‘Become a blogger in 21 days’ guide too. And if you’re new here, hi 😊, I’d suggest starting here.

Next month will mark the two-year birthday of the Indie Author blog, the project which eventually became the book I’m releasing in a couple of weeks’ time.

At the heart of this book is raw and honest stories of writers – and their writing.

Which is why I’ve been asking myself recently what writing means to me.

To help me answer that question, I’ve put together a video – with pictures – which looks back on my writing journey from my primary school days up until today (including a 10-year pause in the middle).

It took me a while to put this together, but I loved looking back on my writing journey and engaging with memories that had been laying dormant.

This is part 1 of my writing journey:

To experience it in full – with those pictures I mentioned – 🎥 here’s the video.

Or, you can 🔉 listen via podcast.

I hope you enjoy it, and perhaps it might invite you to think about your own journey with writing – or whichever creative outlet is the most meaningful to you.

by,

Jas

📝 Wednesday 18th August, 2021

ps. subscribe over here to receive my entries as I publish them, and I’ll send you my 📕 ‘Become a blogger in 21 days’ guide too. And if you’re new here, hi 😊, I’d suggest starting here.

Hi, I’m Jas 😊

I’m a writer, blogger and author. I started writing when I left my corporate job back in 2015. I’ve been writing in different ways ever since. I journal, I’ve written poetry, I’ve run several blogs and in 2021 I published my first book, The Indie Author.

I share my writing journey in more depth here.

A couple of other bits about me: I’m an introvert (INFP), I care a lot about freedom, I like coffee shops, mini-adventures (exploring new places), as well as sunny days and snowy days in equal measure.

Quite simply, writing has changed my life.

I truly believe that anyone can be a writer, and can change their lives through writing. I want to help & inspire more people to start writing, and write freely.

Thanks for being here,

Jas

ps. are you ready to begin your writing adventure? 👣 start here

I'm just checking in briefly this Sunday to share something new a friend & I started recently.

Sasa & I spent time together in Madeira, and we decided to start a casual podcast where we just chat about our indie journeys – as an indie maker (Sasa) and indie writer (me).

There have already been things I've shared in these conversations that I don't recall sharing anywhere else, like how much I've made as an indie writer to date... and why I used to dread going to Indian weddings as I've navigated this crazy ol' indie path.

You can listen to our first 2 conversations here, via Spotify + other podcast platforms, here:

🔉 anchor.fm/indies


I've also narrated the announcement I made earlier in the week about the new direction I am taking.

You can watch it 📺 here, and there's a little surprise at the end too...


And finally, I had a great time at Micro Camp this weekend, a community of fellow (micro)bloggers. I gave a (pre-recorded) talk titled 'The Joy of Long-form Writing', and others I enjoyed including one called: 'Want to write a book? You probably already have'.

There was also an intoduction + Q&A given by the Micro Blog team of Manton & Jean, about this refreshing platform & community of bloggers that is micro.blog.

You can watch all of the replays for free, by registering 🖱️ on this page and then clicking on the 'Videos' tab once you're inside.


Next week, I'm looking forward to sharing my writing journey as part of the launch process for The Indie Author book. :)

by,

Jas

📝 Sunday 15th August, 2021

ps. subscribe over here to receive my entries as I publish them, and I’ll send you my 📕 ‘Become a blogger in 21 days’ guide too. And if you’re new here, hi 😊, I’d suggest starting here.

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