Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Putting my Talents and Skills to Good Use with a New Business Venture


Okay, I'm not going to apologize for this but I know it has been over two months since I shared any kind of update over here.

Like I said, I won't say sorry because life and other priorities do sometimes get in the way of blogging, even when blogging is your life and priority! But what I will do is share with all of you the amazing things that have been coming together over the past couple months.

There has been a very good reason for why I disappeared.

I’m in the midst of starting a new business with a great friend and colleague, a fellow writer and blogger and I am really, really excited to finally share it with all of you!

But before I get to the good stuff let me ask you a question:

Have you ever had an a-ha moment?

That one moment in time that causes all of your everything to come crashing together in a collision that both expands your mind and pinpoints the exact thing you’re supposed to be doing with your life?

When I was about 14 years old I had one of those. I started writing fiction and it was like everything clicked.

I felt like I’d finally found the thing I was good at. The thing I could put my entire personality into. To me, writing fiction was like being sucked into a black hole where I’d lose hours of time but it never felt like a loss because I was living in another time and place. One that I invented.

Fast forward through my life and take a pause in August 2012. That’s the month I wrote my second book, Reckless Abandon. That experience – writing a book that seemed to flow so easily out of my mind and fingers - opened me up to my second a-ha moment:

I knew I finally had enough life experience to use all that fiction writing to become a big famous fiction author!

Um, I know what you’re thinking…

What the hell happened?

Trust me, I thought the same thing.

And I thought it daily.

My sales went nowhere. My marketing was pitiful. I had no clue what I was doing and realized that no matter how good I was at the writing part, all that other stuff was so much more important to being the big famous fiction author I wanted to be.

How did I find that out?

Plain and simple research.

That research led me to read about a lot of tips for marketing online. Tips for how to use a blog to my best advantage.

Then I learned I could write blogs for clients. For an income. That I could actually find people that would hire me to write stuff for them online.

A-ha moment 3.

I’d already been blogging for 5 years. Maybe some of you have stumbled across my Randomness and Lunacy. I loved blogging and always wondered if I could do it for a living. Apparently I could.

But it was going to take a small shift. I needed to stop blogging about my crazy inner ranting and start sharing useful information about my experiences. Then I could blog for myself and others and make some money while I tried to get my fiction stuff off the ground.

I took classes. I practiced. I got some clients to pay me to write for them. I got some longer term people to hire me to write lots of interesting content that forced me to research a lot about a lot.

I made some money. Money that even helped my husband and I complete some home renovations and take vacations.

Not enough to live on just yet but I listened to all those people who taught the classes and wrote the blogs I loved. They said to be patient and work really hard. That I too could make six figures a year as a blogger!

It sounded all kinds of awesome.

I was seduced by the cash. Drawn in by the promise of better paying clients with great work.

I kept waiting for that part to happen while writing and writing. I pitched, wrote consistently and couldn’t get anything going. I would make a tiny bit of money so I’d stick it out. This was my daily routine for well over 2 years.

And I left my fiction in the dust.

I shoved my passion in a drawer.

Want to know the truth?

I missed it. A lot.

But I had all these newly learned skills that I wasn’t quite ready to give up on. Mostly because I paid a LOT of cash to get them and I thought that meant I had to use them in the exact way they were presented.

That if I learned about copywriting I should be a copywriter. If I learned how to write success stories that’s what I needed to offer as a service.

The reasons I’d first started writing seemed so far behind me.

A writer with no purpose or direction, I simultaneously felt like I had far too many potential career paths set out in front of me.

I was struggling with my worth as a writer, struggling with financial independence and struggling with reasons why I shouldn’t just go get a job as a bagger at my local grocery store.

Then I went to my writer’s meeting last spring and every single a-ha moment came into clear focus.

They formed the true and total a-ha moment I’d been spinning toward for years.

My colleague Kate and I sat next to each other, ready to learn from the speaker.

But what we ended up learning that night was that we both needed to stop relying on clients for our income.

We needed to take control of our businesses.

We needed to use our skills to provide a useful service to people like us.

One a-ha moment to rule them all

By the end of the night we realized we needed to work together.

I won’t go into all the details of the creation, (if you want to read about that you can visit our About page) but long story short:

Kate and I found a way to draw on both of our experiences writing for the web as well as our background in fiction to start this business.

It's called Blogging Your Book!

Blogging Your Book is the culmination of the past 27 years of my writing life.

Blogging Your Book is an opportunity to help aspiring authors.

Blogging Your Book is the only thing I want to focus my energy and attention on.

Let me see if I can explain what this feels like…

Imagine a fully finished puzzle sitting on a table. Each piece is attached to a piece of fishing line. At the exact same moment all those lines get pulled into the air, flinging every piece into a state of suspended flotation.

But someone was filming the whole thing.

Now, watch that scene in slow-motion, in reverse.

Every single piece of the puzzle falling so perfectly into their proper place on the table. Like a bird’s feather falling back to the earth to land with a whisper exactly where it belongs.

Years of studying, cramming, practicing finally making sense.

Yup. It’s pretty rad, calming and satisfying.

We’re not 100% up and running yet, our official workshop launch is happening in about 4 months, but you can subscribe to our newsletter now and I really think you should especially if you’re:

  •          An author who doesn’t know where to go with your book.
  •          An aspiring author who hasn’t published yet.
  •          A writer considering penning a book someday.
  •          Someone who enjoys blogging.
  •          In need of inspiration on your own writing journey.


So what does all this mean for this blog?

It means some formatting changes are likely happening in the next couple weeks.

That posting is likely going to cut to only 1-2 posts per month while I focus on writing for BYB with Kate (blogs, workshops and webinars).

Posts here are going to move back toward Author tips (and I’m so thankful for having learned the craft of blogging for business so I can bring the best advice in the best way!).

And I’m pretty likely going to find some time to start working on my fiction again.

Because what good is it teaching authors how to blog their book and find their fans if I’m not doing the same?

A-ha!


Don’t forget, sign up for the Blogging Your Book newsletter now so you can stay on top of the great tips we’re already sharing as well as the details for our workshops launching next spring!

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2 comments:

Kate Traci said...

GO TEAM! Jenn Flynn-Shon I'm so Lucky to have had that final aha moment with you. I loved how you told the story - the puzzle pieces - so perfect.

Here's to working hard for what we love! I can't wait to share this with other hardworking Authors - our people!

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

GO TEAM!!!

So glad to be building this together, and I can't wait to start helping our people either!!!

Hard work for doing what we love honestly doesn't sound all that hard to me :-)