Jas's journal - September

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 hccup, 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.

📝 Monday 27th September, 2021

Jasraj Hothi (Jas) @jasraj