Indie Author Weekly

121: That didn't go as planned...

July 20, 2021 Sagan Morrow Episode 122
Indie Author Weekly
121: That didn't go as planned...
Show Notes Transcript

Have you ever worried about what might happen if your book plans get derailed? Or maybe your plans for your author career don’t quite pan out the way you hoped? That's what we're addressing in this 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 discover what I learned when this year's plan did NOT happen the way I anticipated—and what I'm doing about it...   

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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 the behind-the-scenes journey of writing and self-publishing books. I’m your host, Sagan Morrow (or @Saganlives on Twitter & Instagram), and I’m a productivity strategist and an author of polyamorous romcoms.

Now, have you ever worried about what might happen if your book plans get derailed? Or maybe your plans for your author career don’t quite pan out the way you hoped? Well, that’s exactly what we’re discussing on today’s episode of Indie Author Weekly!

For new and returning listeners, you can now get all Indie Author Weekly podcast episodes—plus updates on my writing projects—delivered directly to your inbox each week at… link is in the show notes.

Now let’s get into this episode of the Indie Author Weekly podcast. Today, I want to give you an update on something I had talked about earlier this year…

You might remember that I took a (long for me) hiatus from writing my novel this year. I shared about that back in Episode 105, with a conversation on “when should you hit pause on a book project?”

That was back in March. I was pressing pause on my current novel—Small Town Stilettos—because I wanted to build up a really strong and healthy financial foundation for the rest of my business. That way, I’d have more of a financial buffer for working on Small Town Stilettos, hiring a high-end cover illustrator, and that kind of thing.

That was the idea. I invested quite a large sum of money into my business and hustled. By this point, I was supposed to be receiving recurring profits, basically on autopilot.

...And that is not quite what has panned out—not yet. 

Now, don’t get me wrong: the financial investments I’ve made have already paid off big time for themselves, in terms of learnings, growth, leveling up, that kind of thing. That has been amazing. That’s priceless! I don’t regret the financial investment one bit—especially because they will pan out, it’s just a matter of “when” that’s going to happen. There’s quite a bit of uncertainty there for me.

What does this mean? 

This means that at the time of recording this episode, my business has significantly less cash flow than it did, back when I was pressing pause on my novel… and I was “supposed” to have significantly more cash flow by this point!

So, yeah, that’s a little scary, and a little frustrating, and it led me to ask myself a big question: “Should I continue to press pause on my book project, while I focus even more on other aspects of my business… or should I return to my book project, because there’s so much up in the air and uncertainty around what might or might not happen with the other stuff I’m working on?”

It’s a big question. And I’m betting that you’ve asked yourself that same question, many times in your life—probably about writing a book, yourself, and probably about a million other things, too:

“What gets priority? What is the “right” thing to focus on, at this time? If I focus on this thing or that thing, what does it mean? What will I do if that doesn’t pan out the way I expected? What if this doesn’t go as planned… what should I do next?”

There is no universal answer, of course. And context is an important factor!

I’m not going to tell you what you should do. Only you know the answer to that question.

But I AM going to tell you what I decided, this time, for this book project, at this stage and season of my life and business: 

I realized that yeah, you know what, I could keep pausing my book, in the hopes that the next big thing in other areas of my business will be IT, will be the thing that clicks, and that will keep my business financially healthy, no problem… 

...Or, I could find a way to reprioritize writing books, regardless of what’s going on in other areas of my business.

I decided to do the latter.

Because there isn’t ever going to be a perfect time to write the book. If not this thing happening in my business, then maybe I’ll be moving house, or some other major life or business event will crop up.

There’s always going to be something. And if we are conditional about our creative pursuits—for example, saying that “If X, then I’ll write my book, but if Y, then I’m not allowed to because I should focus on other things”—then those delightful creative pursuits, those creative arts that bring us real joy, they’re always going to be put on the backburner. We’re always going to find an excuse or a reason for why we “shouldn’t” be working on them; we’re always going to be able to make ourselves feel guilty about it.

...If we let it. If we let ourselves do that, then we will do that.

And frankly, this month, I was done. I missed writing my novel. It was time to return to it. So I did, and WOW, does it feel great!

I’m still working on other areas of my business, of course—for example, one of the things I’m most excited about in my business is the high-touch, one-on-one productivity coaching services I’m offering right now… including, by the way, a Productivity MAGIC Audit, where I’ll work with you to identify your productivity problem areas and what you can do to improve them so you can restructure your systems and overcome your procrastination and perfectionism tendencies. Super powerful stuff, and I’m actually offering it for a total steal. Learn more and grab your Productivity Magic Audit at — link is in the show notes. 

That was a sidebar! But my point is, that’s something I’m really excited about—as I’m sure you can clearly tell! Because I’m multi-passionate. I struggle to only ever focus on one project, and I hate putting off stuff that interests me, as you also obviously know. 

So I’m giving myself the space to do both right now. To enjoy my book writing and my productivity coaching. To not feel guilty about focusing on one vs. the other, but about ensuring that I am creating the space and making the room for both of them to co-exist together, simultaneously, right now. This summer. 

That feels really good.

For the past few months, I was so insistent that I had to focus on the other part of my business, and that I couldn’t make room for writing my book. And you know, I made amazing progress with the other side of my business, even if it hasn’t paid off financially yet. I’m really proud of myself and even as a Productivity Strategist, I was still impressed with the amount of STUFF I did these past few months—yes, like Leslie Knope, sometimes I inspire myself, ha!

Mostly, taking this time off from my book has been such a wonderful reminder that I really don’t need to necessarily press pause on a creative project, to work on other projects. I can actually do both, as I have done many times in the past. After all, that’s one of the core foundations of my business, of my books, of my lifestyle: we can do multiple things at the same time. We can hold space for multiple things simultaneously. I’m not sure why I thought that this time had to be different. Lesson learned!

I guess, to sum up this episode, my point is: a) If you’re drifting, then check in and try to come back to what’s true for you, and b) Things won’t always go as planned. In fact, they OFTEN won’t go as planned! And that’s okay. 

It’s about being able to pivot when they don’t work out. It’s about asking tough questions, and being willing to take risks, and taking the opportunity to learn something from the experience of something not going according to plan.

Are you in, or are you out? 

You have a choice. You always have the choice of whether you’re going to work on your book now, or not. Are you going to move forward, or are you going to decide that now isn’t a good time? And if now is not a good time, when WILL be a good time?

The stars might never align just right, just perfectly. So in that case, what are you going to do? If the stars never align to make it a good time, does that mean you’re never going to do this thing you want to do? If things don't ever line up perfectly, then does that mean that you’re okay with never writing your book?

Like I said, you have the choice. Are you in… or are you out?

Me? I’m in.

All right. 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

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.