Indie Author Weekly

105: When should you press pause on a book project?

March 30, 2021 Sagan Morrow Episode 106
Indie Author Weekly
105: When should you press pause on a book project?
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Indie Author Weekly
105: When should you press pause on a book project?
Mar 30, 2021 Episode 106
Sagan Morrow

Have you ever wondered about how to prioritize different projects, and whether it’s okay to press “pause” on a project? That’s exactly what’s happening on today’s episode of Indie Author Weekly!

This is the podcast for indie authors, aspiring authors, and curious bookworms who want the inside scoop, tips and motivation, and behind-the-scenes journey of writing and self-publishing books.   

TUNE IN NOW to access tips and more about pressing pause on a book project, and how to prioritize your various projects... 

Resources & links mentioned in this episode:  

Let's chat about this episode:  

Support the show (https://saganmorrow.com/secretpodcast)

Show Notes Transcript

Have you ever wondered about how to prioritize different projects, and whether it’s okay to press “pause” on a project? That’s exactly what’s happening on today’s episode of Indie Author Weekly!

This is the podcast for indie authors, aspiring authors, and curious bookworms who want the inside scoop, tips and motivation, and behind-the-scenes journey of writing and self-publishing books.   

TUNE IN NOW to access tips and more about pressing pause on a book project, and how to prioritize your various projects... 

Resources & links mentioned in this episode:  

Let's chat about this episode:  

Support the show (https://saganmorrow.com/secretpodcast)

Hello and welcome back to Indie Author Weekly! This is the podcast for indie authors, aspiring authors, and curious bookworms who want the inside scoop, tips and motivation, and behind-the-scenes journey of writing and self-publishing books. I’m your host, Sagan Morrow: a productivity strategist and author of polyamorous romcoms.

Now, have you ever wondered about how to prioritize different projects, and whether it’s okay to press “pause” on a project? Well, that’s exactly what we’re discussing on today’s episode of Indie Author Weekly!

For our new and returning listeners, you can now get all Indie Author Weekly podcast episodes plus book and writing updates delivered directly to your inbox each week at SaganMorrow.com/behindthescenes—link is in the show notes.

Now let’s get into this episode of the Indie Author Weekly podcast. Today, I want to share about why I’m pressing pause on my current romcom, Small Town Stilettos.

Some back story: A couple weeks ago, I was making some major decisions in changing business directions, and I Tweeted a passing thought about it. 

Here’s the Tweet that I posted: “Sometimes we need to press pause on a project *for now* in order to prioritize OTHER projects which can enable us to have 10x more time for that 1st project a few months down the line… (she reminds herself while hiding her current WIP romcom to avoid temptation of working on it).”

Shoutout to Emily Washines, who hosts the War Cry podcast, because she replied to that Tweet to ask me, “Is this a podcast episode?”

...Which made me realize, ooh, do I ever need to talk about this on Indie Author Weekly. So that’s where we are today!

Before we do that, I’d love to hang out with you on Twitter (my handle is @Saganlives)—so, go follow me there and say Hi. Done? Cool! Let’s move along.

So, why did I post that Tweet in the first place? Well, something I’ve been trying to figure out for quite a few months now is, how can I set my business up to make a lot more room for writing my romantic comedy novels? 

I haven’t been giving it as much time as I’d like—part of which is due to some major imposter syndrome I’ve been experiencing, which I’ll share in another episode—but largely it’s been because my business has required me to be a bit more involved with it. I’ve been trying to grow the productivity strategy side of my business so that I can serve a lot more people, without needing to show up on a one-on-one basis every day, for example. 

For the past few months, I’ve been planning and outlining all the details for a brand-new membership program for my productivity clients. I figured it made sense: If I could get enough people in the program with recurring revenue, then I would be able to have more time to focus on writing novels.

But something felt “off.” I mean, everything about the concept of doing the membership made sense. And my plans and outlines for the program were all great ideas! (Sidebar: If you want to create a membership, I highly recommend listening to The Membership Guys podcast—it is a wealth of information!)

So, my membership ideas were really good, and doing a membership seemed like it “made sense,” but… at the same time, I was struggling with knowing whether or not I should follow through. It felt big and scary, and it seemed like it could be fun and useful for my business… but my heart wasn’t really in it. 

I was a week away from launching the beta program for the membership, when it hit me: The way I felt about the membership was the exact same way I had felt years ago when a friend approached me about the idea of doing a business partnership.

Back then, I was in the process of transitioning away from doing freelance writing services to teaching online courses for other freelancers. My friend suggested we start a digital marketing & communications agency together, which was the opposite direction than I was trying to go at the time. It felt big and scary, but it also seemed like it could be fun if I was doing it with someone else, and the idea of a communications agency made sense. 

...Can you sense the pattern here between that business partnership and the membership idea?

A year after launching that business partnership, my business partner decided he didn’t want to do it anymore, and we went our separate ways. I immediately went back to focusing on online courses, because that’s what I’d been wanting to do anyway. 

I knew at the time that it was a really good thing, but it wasn’t until a few weeks ago, when I realized I had the same trepidations about the membership as I’d had with the business partnership, that I finally felt extremely grateful about going through with that business partnership at all. Because it taught me an extremely important lesson: If my heart isn’t in it, don’t do it. Just because something seems like it makes sense, doesn’t mean it’s actually a good fit.

And since I already made that mistake once before with the business partnership, I was able to avoid making that same mistake with the membership. A week before launching it, I shut it down. As soon as I made that decision to not go through with it after all, it felt like a huge weight had lifted from my shoulders. I finally felt like I was going in the right direction again, after literally months of wondering and humming and hawing. 

Ah. It was such a relief, a breath of fresh air, a total release, to realize that the membership was not going to help my business or support my author career. And in that moment, I realized that what I can do instead is to take all of the best ideas I had for that membership and combine them into an up-levelled version of my signature program, Productivity Powerhouse. Yep, I am giving that program a facelift! Very soon, the existing version of Productivity Powerhouse will be archived, and the new & improved 2.0 version will be released. I’m combining all the best parts of what’s currently in Productivity Powerhouse with the best parts of my productivity membership idea, and I couldn’t be happier about it. It feels so perfect and aligned and right. So good.

Within 12 hours of this epiphany, I hired Satya Purna, a launch strategist, to help me with launching Productivity Powerhouse 2.0. We’ve already had an initial consult call and she is absolutely amazing—I cannot wait to see what incredible things we’ll be able to do with the new release of Productivity Powerhouse in the coming weeks.

So, how does all of this relate back to today’s topic? Well, this new, upgraded version of Productivity Powerhouse, and the launch strategy Satya and I are creating for it, is going to provide me with abundant time and energy to work on my novels, several months from now.

...But what that means is that in order to have all of that extra time and energy for my author career, first, I need to press pause on my current work in progress. I need to devote pretty much all of my time and energy right now to the Productivity Powerhouse 2.0 launch. If I want this to truly work, then I need to give it my all, and remain very focused. 

So I’m pressing pause on my novel for a couple months—but don’t worry, I’ll continue to release new podcast episodes each week!

This decision was both easy and difficult to make. On the one hand, I am so ridiculously excited about Productivity Powerhouse 2.0, and I know, with every fibre of my being, that this is the right path to take. On the other hand, I love writing novels, and I’m so excited about my current work in progress, and I don’t like letting you down if you’ve been waiting patiently for me to hurry up and finish this book already. 

By the way—if you are in that position of waiting for me to release my next polyamorous romantic comedy novel, then why not take this opportunity to reread my previous works? The first 7 books in the Polyamorous Passions romcom series are all available at your favourite e-bookstore! Grab your copies at SaganMorrow.com/books

This decision is for me, and it’s for you. It will enable me to better serve my productivity clients, and also to write and publish more books, faster. It just needs some groundwork in order to make that happen over the next month or two first. And frankly, spending just a couple months to get everything set up for Productivity Powerhouse 2.0 is barely any time at all, and then I’ll be able to refocus so much more of my time and energy on writing novels. When I say that I’m pressing pause on my Small Town Stilettos novel, I promise I won’t be pausing it for long! I’ll be back at it before you know it.

Sometimes, you need to postpone a project—such as my current romcom novel—to work on something else—such as Productivity Powerhouse 2.0—that will give you MORE time in the future to work on Project #1. 

Sometimes, we need to press pause on a project *for now* in order to prioritize OTHER projects which can enable us to have 10x more time for that 1st project a few months down the line. Pressing pause *now* is a good idea if it means we’ll be able to really go full-steam ahead and accelerate in the future.

It’s all about strategy!

With that in mind, I encourage you to take a look at your own projects. If you want to write a book, for example, then what can you do to ensure that other aspects of your personal and professional life can support that? If you have any particular goal or big dreamy project you’ve been thinking about, how can you set things up to create a strong foundation *now,* so as to give you plenty more time and energy and space to dedicate yourself more fully to your big dreamy project in the future, whether that’s a few weeks, months, or years from now? 

If that’s something you want to learn more about, I’d love to help you! You can be the first to know when Productivity Powerhouse 2.0 is open for enrollment: just sign up for updates on that at SaganMorrow.com/newsletter. I’m so excited about all of these new directions, and if I can support you with doing these things, yourself, then all the better. 

And that, my friend, is a wrap for today’s episode of Indie Author Weekly! Access the show notes for this episode, including all links and additional resources, at SaganMorrow.com/podcast.

Thank you so much for tuning in. Please take 2 minutes to rate and review Indie Author Weekly on Apple Podcasts—I really appreciate your support. 

Until next week, this is Sagan Morrow, signing off the Indie Author Weekly podcast.