Smart Girls Read Romance

Smart Girls Read Romance -- so do the bestselling and award-winning Authors who write this blog.
Join them as they dish about Books, Romance, Love, and Life.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Two sides of Being a Writer by Paty Jager

Seattle Ferris Wheel
Here is a glimpse for readers into what it's like to be a writer.

We wish we could just sit around in pajamas and write our books and someone would snatch them up, love them, and publish them. But that only happens for a handful of authors.

The real life of a writer is carving out time in our lives, whether we have a day job or a family to care for, writing the best story we can, sending it off to critique partners to help make sure it's a good story, then off to an editor to make sure all the grammar is correct and the story doesn't wander, then it's one more edit and the harder work, if you're an author who does your own formatting. Some opt to pay others to format for ebook and print books. After the formatting there's uploading it to all the ebook vendors and then uploading to the print on demand business. And just when you think you can breathe, you have to also be promoting the book to make sure your fans and other readers of your genre see the book. This is ongoing for the life of the book.

Seattle harbor photo
BUT, there is another side to being a writer, the one I'm trying to build up this weekend at what we call an Indie Uncon.  It's a small, 45 authors, conference of self-published authors who gather once a year to discuss the business side of writing. It's called an uncon because we all meet in one room all day long and discuss things like what aggregators are better, what software or programs are working best to track sales, what works best for advertising, how do you get the better advertising, what's the best way to grab and keep newsletter members, what do you do with a Street Team, Who has had luck???

This is a whole different side to writing than actually diving into our fictional worlds and playing with our fictional characters. This is a side that I struggle with and have been trying harder and harder to become more business minded. I wish that I could just write a book and upload it and go on to the next book. But I want to make a living at writing and until I grasp the business side of it, it's not going to happen.

This is the third uncon I've attended, and each one I feel a little more savvy about choices I make and things I attempt to put to work that I hope will help me become more astute and business savvy.

So, if you ever wonder what is taking so long for a writer to put out a book. Think about your own life and how sometimes family gets in the way of things you have planned or how much time you have to put into planning for your family or a business/money decision. Writers not only do that for their lives but for their writing as well.

Paty Jager is an award-winning author of 32 novels, 6 novellas, and numerous anthologies of murder mystery, western romance, and action adventure. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. This is what Mysteries Etc says about her Shandra Higheagle mystery series: “Mystery, romance, small town, and Native American heritage combine to make a compelling read.”

blog / websiteFacebook / Paty's Posse / Goodreads / Twitter / Pinterest

Photo source: Paty Jager


  1. I wish I could have been there. You absolutely said it like it is. Overnight success? No such thing. Writing is hard work and there's always the need for more education, which you just did.

    1. Would have been great to see you, Vella! I agree, writing is an ongoing lesson not only in writing but how to promote and sell. As always I came away with my head spinning. I'm making lists this morning of what to tackle first and brewing the next the story. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Excellent summary, Paty. Sometimes life just interferes too much with our writing. I just want to write, not promote. As you said, that's not possible if we want to earn a living. I do!

    1. Thanks Caroline! I agree, life does get in the way. I didn't get out all the books I'd planned this year due to life interruptions. And after this conference I've set some heavy goals this coming year... I want to make a living and I'll buckle down to get it done. Thanks for commenting!

  3. Your small Indie Uncon sounds great. Yes, all that "real life" stuff puts a crimp in everyone's writing. *LOL*

    1. Thanks Joan! Yes real life does get in the way. The part that was driven into me was if someone has a regular 9-5 job and life happens, they still have to report to work and keep working. that's what I'm going to work on harder this year. Getting my husband and family to understand this is my 9-5 job, not something I do for fun.

  4. There's only so much we can do when "life gets in the way." However, I believe that all writer's struggle with finding time to write. And, I can't think of any of my friends who are writers who like to promote--which is an integral part of the process. Great post.

  5. Judy, I agree. Thanks for stopping in!


Thank you for commenting on Smart Girls Read Romance. We love to have long as they're not spam. Pour your heart out, but please don't try to sell something with your comment. We love readers and love their comments.