Episode 52: Making a Living as an Author with Troy Lambert

Welcome back to Alchemy for Authors!

In this episode, I chat with return guest, prolific author, freelance writer, book editor, and all-round cool guy, Troy Lambert. Troy shares the ups and downs of his journey towards making a living as a full-time author, as well as offering solid advice for you to do the same. He also shares:

·       How a motorcycle accident and brush with death was the catalyst for him taking his writing seriously.

·       How freelancing grew his skills in the business side of writing.

·       Why writing on the beach is overrated.

·       Why education is essential to success, but an MFA isn’t.

·       The skills and traits you need to make a living as an author, and why it’s okay to keep writing as a hobby.

·       Signs you’re ready to quit your day job.

·       The impact of a writing career on your family and friends.

·       The unusual things people will ask you as an author.

·       And why writing for a living is the most amazing profession you’ll ever embark on!

If you’re ready, or even just curious, about taking your writing to the next level and embarking on a full-time writing career, then this episode is for you!

Visit Troy’s website here: https://troylambertwrites.com/

Connect with Troy on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/authortroy/

Connect with Troy on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/authortroy

Listen to Episode 47 of Alchemy for Authors – Plotting with Plottr with Troy Lambert here

Purchase or trial Plottr here. * Please Note: This is an affiliate link. Purchases made through this link support me with a small kickback at no extra charge to you.

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Check out my latest book, Between: A Gothic Novella, here: https://books2read.com/BetweenAGothicNovella

Find the full transcript of this episode below.

Episode 52: Making a Living as an Author with Troy Lambert

Jo: Hello, my lovelies. Thank you for joining me again for another episode of Alchemy for Authors. I hope your writing, publishing, plotting, marketing, whatever you’ve been working on this week has been going really well for you. I launched my Gothic novella, Between, out into the world last week. And in all honesty, it wasn’t much of a launch, a more of a let’s just kick it out into the wild and see what happens. But it surprised me and it was nice to see more sales on Kobo than usual. And a trickle through with sales on my other books as well. So I think it also helped that I had no real expectations for this book. I kinda just wanted to clear the decks for some bigger projects, but all the same, it’s been a pretty fun and surprising week. So, if you like Gothic Suspense then I’ll make sure to leave the links in the show notes so you can check it out for yourself.

But what I’m really excited to share with you is this week’s episode. Oh, my gosh. So I had the wonderful Troy Lambert back on the show to talk all about going all in with this crazy cool writing gig that we all have going on. And the ups and downs, tips and advice for making a living as an author. So I know that many of us, myself included, dream of the day we were making a full-time living as an author. Goodbye day job. Am I right?

Well, Troy certainly doesn’t disappoint in today’s episode. He shares the good, the bad, the ugly of what we can expect on the way. Including how to know if we’re cut out for the author life full-time. And crucially how to know when it is time. Troy just covers so much in this episode. And this is one of those episodes where you’re probably going to want to listen to it a couple of times to really mine it for its gold. I know I have. I’ve been listening to this episode a good few times since recording it.

So just as a recap, Troy was on the show back in Episode 47: Plotting with Plottr, where we discussed the power of plotting to boost productivity and the quality of your stories, whether you’re a plotter, pantser or even something in between. As well as being the education lead for Plottr, and that’s spelled P L O T T R, which is the number one visual book outlining and story Bible software, Troy is also a prolific author with over thirty novels and several works of non-fiction. He’s also a book editor and a freelance writer. Troy lives in the mountains of Idaho with his wife and two very talented dogs.

So if you’re ready or even just curious about taking your writing to the next level and embarking on a full-time writing career, then by now you should know the drill. Grab a drink, find a comfy chair, sit back and enjoy the show.

Hello Troy, welcome back to the show.

Troy: Well, hi there. Thanks for having me back. I appreciate it.

Jo: I am just so excited. So for all the listeners who have been following this podcast closely, Troy was on the show back in Episode 47 talking about plotting with the visual outlining and story bible software, Plottr, P L O T T R. And after the recording of that episode, we got to talking about what it was like to go all in and make a living as an author. And it was just so good. So I invited Troy to come back so that he could share his experience with us all. So, yay. Like I said, I’m just so excited to have you here. I would love if you could maybe just give us a little bit of a background. I know you kind of did this in the previous episode, but just on what led you to the author life, and how you took those steps really, I guess to going full-time.

Troy: So I’ll kind of repeat a little bit of what I said the first episode and then kind of expound on it since we’re diving a little deeper into the topic. And basically, like, I wanted to be a writer when I was very young. I knew this is what I wanted to do. I was all in, like I knew everything I wanted to do. But of course, all the experts, your school counsellors, and all those people who knew better told me I couldn’t do it. And so I decided I need to find a way to make a living while I figured out this writing thing.

And it took me a long time and several different jobs and careers and hair nets and name tags before I basically got to a point in my life where I, where a couple things had happened to me. The first thing that happened was in 2000 I had a motorcycle accident and I hit the side of a Toyota at 45 miles an hour, flipped through the air, nice, spectacular thing, landed on the ground and decided, man, I could have died. What in the world am I doing with my life? And, um, so at that point I kind of started to move back towards. I had just, I’d gotten outta the Army not long before, and I, I was started to move back towards, well, maybe I should embrace this writing thing. But I still had no idea. Like, I could write, I knew how to write a story, but I didn’t know how to, how to translate that to something that made me any kind of money, right? Mm-hmm. So I just, so I, I kind of reset and started to reset.

Well, in 2009, I had just gotten to the point where I’m like, I don’t like my job. I had made a career change and I was like, I don’t like this either. And part of that was because it was always building something for something else and not building something for myself. Mm-hmm. And so I had to go, okay, what do I want to do about that? Like, what does that mean to me? And so I said, well, I gotta figure this writing thing out. So I sat down and, and instead of just studying writing, started to study what’s happening in the writing world. And it was just as indie publishing was emerging, it wasn’t such a dirty word anymore. And also a lot of small presses had embraced this idea of digital first publications. We publish a book digitally and then we see if it’s successful and then we publish it in print. And I was like, huh, I can do that. That sounds like something, you know, to me I was like, I’m fine with that. I don’t care how things get published as long as I can, you know, get published and get into this world.

And so that was what, you know, what that, that’s basically how I started. And I got lucky with some freelance assignments and stuff like that, and basically learned that my words were worth money and that I could work to a deadline. And also that writing was a talent that not everybody had. It wasn’t just a hobby, but there were people I knew who were really, really smart and couldn’t write, and so all those things were very revealing to me.

But I, I mean, there are some things that I did wrong at the start and some things I did right. But, you know, it was, it was a time when nobody, none of us really knew what we were doing. We had no idea.

Jo: Yeah. Yeah. And I find that so interesting that motorcycle accident, which is horrendous, but being that kind of catalyst to, you know, I think a lot of us have those moments in our life where it’s like, Ooh, life’s too short. Like, am I really on the right path? Something needs to change. And it was a pretty horrendous one that you had. But it’s interesting that we all tend to get that push at some time to go after that thing that’s being in our hearts and just kind of building and whispering to us that Yeah. That we need to start making those moves towards that.

So then you were going more into the writing and everything like that, but were you still having a lot of these jobs and everything, you were saying like the hairnet jobs and everything, in the background? Like, how long did it take before you were making a livable kind of income?

Troy: Um, so that’s actually really interesting cause what happened in 2009 when I decided to do that is at the time, and I know people are gonna feel really sorry for me, but my job was that I had embarked on enough freelance writing that I was making money, I was making some money, I wasn’t making great money, but I was making some money.

But in the wintertime, I lived in northern Idaho at that time, um, way north of here. And so I taught skiing and ski patrolled at two ski resorts in the winter. And so I made money from teaching people how to ski. And then in the summertime, I’ve worked on a mountain bike trail. That was my job was, so I rode that trail dozens of times a day, and that was my job.

Right? I know that’s really rough. It sounds terrible, but I took one for the team and I survived. But, partway through one of those summers, a friend of mine called me up and he said, Hey, I just took over this museum and you should come work for me. And my first answer was, why would I do that? And he said, well, it’ll be fun and you, you know, you like history and stuff like that. It’ll be fun. Right? And I’m like, okay, it’ll be fun. Well, I went to work for that museum and at the same time, in that area of Idaho, the federal government, the EPA, was conducting these studies to do, um, mine site clean-up in that area. And for every mine site that was there, they needed a report that said what actually happened there. And I was at a museum that had all this information that they were looking for about these different mines, but nobody had ever assembled it into anything before. And so I was like, well, I know how to write reports and our museum has all this data that will enable me to write these reports, and the data we don’t have, I know where to get because I’m involved in this industry. So I thought, well, that’s an interesting thing. So we pitched them with a contract, and they signed it. And so suddenly, this little part-time museum job that I had, had turned into, I am now the head researcher for a huge EPA project that covers over 900 mine sites in this area. Right?

The most interesting thing about that was, first of all, it paid really well. And I told the guy, it was kind of by the hour type thing, which you just estimated the hours it was gonna take you to write the thing. So I asked the guy, I’m like, so what if I come in under hours? And he just looked at me like, and I’m like, oh, okay. So I just don’t ever come in under hours. I just, ok, that’s fine. Everything’s fine. So I learned that, but it was a significant amount of money. So I learned, hey, my writing is valuable. Right? My words are really valuable. This information I’m going to find is very valuable to someone. But then a lot of those people that I would work with from the government agencies and stuff would have master’s degrees and doctorate degrees in environmental science and all these other things. And many of them could not write. Like if they wanted to write the reports I was writing, they just couldn’t do it. And I’m like, these are brilliant people. These are people who are heads of agencies for our government and they cannot write. And I’m like, huh, maybe writing actually is a skill because it’s one of those things, you think of it as a skill as a writer until you don’t. You know, everybody kind of, your family is like, you’re still doing that writing hobby thing? You’re still playing around with that? And so you don’t think of it as a skill until you get into an environment where it’s actually valued as a skill.

And so I was like, oh, okay, well that’s different. And so for me then I went, well, how can I translate this to fiction? If I can get paid for these words, then surely I can get paid for these words too? And if this is a skill to write this way, well then surely this fiction thing is a skill too, right? And I can, because I already know I’m good at that, but I can work to get better. And I thought, wow, okay. This is a revolution to me. So that was really what set me on the path of saying, Hey, guess what? I can actually make a living at this. And so I kept that job for a while and we did, even after we did a bunch of the research, we did a bunch of really interesting projects.

But in 2013, my wife at the time, her job in that area was not going well and it was, it’s not a large area, so there weren’t a lot of options. So she was like, I wanna move to a bigger area where there’s, you know, more opportunity. We moved to a bigger area down in the Boise area of Idaho, which is more of the bigger cities area. In Idaho, more populated area in Idaho. And I went Wow, a writing community, because I didn’t have one when I was in a small town.

And so at that time was really when I transitioned from that job, not working that job and really working for myself. Even when I still did some work for the EPA, but it was always on a contract basis. It was always on my terms. So I very much learned to run a business, which I kind of already had some management experience from all those hair nets and name tags. So I learned to run a business, but I also learned to run a writing business. Like what was this actually worth and like to track my hours and my production fiction-wise and stuff like that. And so it was a, that was a mentality and a job shift at the same time. I probably actually wasn’t ready to quit my day job as far as what people would consider ready. I didn’t have all the money and savings and all the things you should have. But that also made me, it forced me to make it work because I was like, if I don’t make this work, I’m not getting paid. So, you know, it was so, it really forced me to like take what I had learned and really like now really jump wholeheartedly in. I had jumped in part-time. I was doing writing, it was almost full-time writing and then part-time at the museum. But when I moved, I had to switch that to like, this is, this is my thing, this is it. And so I have to do it. I just have to figure it out and do it.

Jo: Ooh, I like that. There, you’ve just, there’s so many cool things that you’ve just mentioned there that I have questions about and that, because fiction writing is very, very different than writing reports. And I think for a lot of people, if they’re good at one, it can be a little bit of a struggle to, to be successful in the other or to change and learn the ins and outs of the other. When you were telling the story, there’s that sense of that confidence that you had with, well, if I can do this, then I can do this. It’s just a transferrable skill. If I can write reports and I can write fiction. And I’m suspecting that maybe, you could prove me wrong, but maybe that confidence wavered a little bit or, or something like that through the process. Like, how was that for you? Did you just have the confidence and go, I’m just gonna learn and I’m just gonna make this happen?

Troy: No, I, there was a lot of fake it till you make it in that, um, whole thing. And really honestly, where the, where I felt more imposter syndrome was in the report writing part of things, because I like to describe, I’m a writer, I like to describe things and I like to build a world, but what I found was that the nonfiction stuff was still a story. It was structured differently and the words that I used were different. And when I wrote it taught me also to write a synopsis, because the executive summary of federal reports is essentially a synopsis and probably 80% of the people that read that report, that’s the only thing that they read. Is the summary is the executive summary. So I learned the most important part of this book is, uh, this report is the executive summary because that’s what 90% of the people, especially the people who pay the bills, you know, the guys on the ground might read the ref, but the people who paid the bills, who actually paid for those reports, they read that executive summary.

They’re like, okay, so kind of like a synopsis for your fiction, like the people paying you if you’re going a more traditional publishing route, the editors, the agents are reading your summary. And they’re not reading the whole thing first. They’re reading your summary. So, um, I discovered that, but I also discovered that it was a story and that a lot of the research was similar to research for fiction. And what I was trying to do was follow the threads and find the story. Because the company would tell you one story in their annual reports, but if you followed the money, you would find the true story of what happened in that place, because the money told you everything about what that company valued and what they did. So, um, it was, anyway, it was just really interesting learning experience, but I felt very much like an imposter, partly because here was I this writer from North Idaho and here are these guys with Master and Doctorate Degrees. And I had somebody ask me, where did you get your, we used a lot of, um, mapping software and so I just learned how to use that mapping software. And one of them asked me, where did you get your Masters in this mapping software? I, I just started laughing cause I’m like, I don’t have one. And so, so often I would be in this room with these people and I’m like, I don’t feel like I should be here. You know, I’m primarily a fiction writer and, but I, I’ve learned this skill and this ability and I’ve figured out how to do it and make money at it, but I still felt sometimes like I just don’t belong. And then they would. Something would happen. They would ask me to come speak to a group of them and tell them about this report. And I’m like, why do you want me to talk about this? Like, like, I don’t belong in this world. So, the imposter syndrome actually was, it made me more confident about my fiction, but it caused some imposter syndrome about the other things that I did with my job. And there were some other things I did with that museum that made me feel very much like I am in a place where I am not qualified and I don’t belong, but I’m doing this anyway because I know I’m good at it. Mm-hmm. But technically speaking, if you looked at a piece of paper in my resume, I had no business being in that job.

So it was really interesting.

Jo: Yeah, it sounds like a fascinating job in itself cuz it’s got that investigative kind of streak into it and, and you know, all that kind of thing, which is really cool. And I find it so interesting that imposter syndrome cuz it really does hit all of us. So then you were transitioning into writing more fiction and gradually, I guess, you wrote more fiction that kind of replaced maybe your income from the report writing and that, but what was that process like and, and what kind of timeline did that kind of take?

Troy: So when I talk about this, I always tell people I had an unfortunate thing happen. And that was that my first novel, my first commercially successful novel was actually very successful at the time. Which you think, great man, that is fantastic. But what I had done to do that was a whole big foundation of marketing and launch and all that kind of stuff. And then I said, wow, people like my book, so they’re gonna be dying for book two. Certainly they’re just waiting for it. So I don’t need to do all of that stuff that I did for book one cuz they’re waiting for book two. Um, and newsflash, they weren’t, um, I mean one, once I told them about it, they were happy but I, because I didn’t tell anyone and like released it to be like, ah, what is like, ooh, that’s gonna sting what’s happening here.

And so I learned that like no matter how many books you’ve created, no matter how many books that you’ve written, if you’re not marketing your books, they’re not selling. Now the methods of marketing have changed and evolved in massive ways since, and they’re still evolving, but they’ve changed in massive ways since the beginning. But the principle has always been the same. The book that is not marketed does not sell. Just, I mean, and you can, I don’t care if it’s your 20th book or your 50th book. You see increases, now, big name authors that you see their ads on Amazon, or you see their ads on Facebook. Big name authors are advertising in some way, or they have built an email list, or they have done something in the marketing realm to push their new stuff as soon as it arrives. There’s no magic there. It’s not that you suddenly have a big enough name that everybody’s just eager for, oh, I can’t wait for that next Troy Lambert thing. No, there, it’s, that’s just not reality. And I wish it was and, but it’s not.

Jo: Yeah. I think that’s really, really true. And I love that the book that’s not marketed does not sell. Totally get that. I absolutely do. So this whole, the writing business of it, you said you started to really take it serious as a business and everything like that. What did that look like for you? So what are some of the tips that you would give any other author who was looking at wanting to transition to writing as a full-time career, as far as putting that business part of the platform into place? What could they start doing now?

Troy: Well, first of all, so there’s a couple things. People always ask me, do I need a company for my book? Yeah, you do. Now, what that looks like in your state, country, region, whatever, will vary. In the United States, it’s usually as simple as forming an LLC. The reason for that is taxes. Taxes are a nightmare for an author, for anybody that’s self-employed really, but especially for an author. And so you need to have some way to segregate your book finances from your finances, and you say, well, I’m only making $10 a month from my books. I don’t care. You need to be prepared for it now, because what’s gonna happen to you is that that book, first book that explodes, suddenly you’re gonna have a whole bunch of income that you have to deal with. And it’s easier to deal with those preparations now before you are supremely busy. Then suddenly, when you are supremely busy and everybody’s knocking down your door and talking to you about this book, and you go, just a minute everyone, I have to go set up an LLC cuz I was not prepared. So don’t do that.

Set whatever your region things are, set up a company for a couple different reasons. First of all, it segregates your income but, and allows you some tax benefits, but it also separates you from your book company. So if someone says they, you write a murder mystery and they use your formula for a murder mystery to go kill fifty people and their families sue you, right? Mm-hmm. Then you, they don’t come after your house, at least. Your business is a separate thing from your house. There are ways to prevent people from doing that with your murder mysteries. And we can talk about that. But, that’s the first thing is the business thing.

The second thing is there’s always two aspects of your writing life that you’re working on. Always. No matter how many books you have out, no matter how long you’ve been doing this. You’re working on the craft of writing. Because you wanna make your craft better, because the key to any successful writing business is well writing good stuff first. The second aspect of it though is the business aspect of it and handling your money, and understanding like, I’m spending all this money on marketing. Am I actually making money and getting money back from that? And how do I set that up and how do I understand that and how much time do I spend on that? And when is the right time to hire help, like a VA or somebody to handle some of your tasks for you? Which I waited way too late for that. So don’t follow my example.

But those things of like, make sure you understand the business of writing and publishing and how it’s changing so that you are constantly have your pulse on what’s new and what’s happening. Because it is always changing. We just had traditional publishers in the US in the big merger deal, uh, sit in front of hearings in front of a, uh, the Federal Commission and basically tell us for three weeks they had no idea what they were doing. That’s something you as an author should have been paying attention to. Mm-hmm. Because it should help you understand your particular path to publication if you wanna make money and a living at this. Right? That should help you in your business understanding that.

So you need to, you need to work on both. Both are really important. Um, and one of the ways you work on the business side is networking, connecting with other authors, especially who are your peers or who are a little bit ahead of you. And kinda where you want to head and where you want to go. Really, really, really important.

Jo: I, I think, yeah, that’s incredibly important. I tend to think of myself as a bit of a baby author, still kind of starting out on the path, but that’s the joy of being able to do this podcast is I am connecting with people who have already, you know, paved the, you know, gone ahead of me. So I get to learn all these cool things from the likes of yourself and other authors who come on here, so that, you know, I can create that platform and move forward and learn from other people’s mistakes. And so can my listeners. And yeah. That’s so important. Absolutely. It’s cool.

Troy: Yeah. It’s really important you learn from the mistakes of other people, but also learn from their successes and go, okay, if they’ve set that up, I mean, that may, or what they’ve done may or may not work exactly for you, but it’s certainly a place for you to start. Yeah. Right? And then you can twist that, and you usually will, you’ll twist that and make it your own. You can imitate their business plan and then you’ll go, yeah, but that part doesn’t quite work for me. And you’ll translate that to something that does work for you, but at least you had somewhere to start and kind of a platform.

Like a lot of us at the beginning, like we did not have that. Nobody had a sure-fire marketing plan because it was brand new, so nobody knew what worked. Yeah. So we were all kind of rolling the dice and guessing. Yeah. And sometimes it worked really well and sometimes it didn’t. So, yeah.

Jo: Yeah. What was the biggest surprise to you then? As you went into this, you know, creating a profession for yourself as a writer versus a lot of the other kind of jobs and things like that. What was the thing that kind of looking back, surprises you the most, or you weren’t prepared for as you kind of went into this?

Troy: One of the most surprising things, and this, I talk about this a lot actually, is the amount of education it takes to be a, a writer for a living. Mm-hmm. And by education, I do not mean going to college. In fact, most of the time. I mean, seriously, like, don’t go to college. And, and I mean, that’s it, that’s not because there aren’t benefits in those programs, but most MFA programs, at least in the United States, do not teach you anything about the publishing part of writing and how to run a business. And you must know that. To make a living as an author. It is a dual pronged thing. But also the amount of craft learning that I had to do that I thought, I’m pretty good at this. And then I found out I was pretty good at this, but I was not really good at it. And the more I learned, the more I learned, there’s always more to learn. So it’s this constant rotation of like, now I learned this. Oh wow. That means that now I’ve moved up a level and I need to learn this too.

And it’s the same thing on the business side of things. So education means everything from reading books, and going to conferences, and networking with your peers, to literally sitting down with consultants and saying, hey, can you look at my business? What could I do better? And it sounds, for many authors, it sounds totally foreign because they’re like, I just wanna write books and for people to read and enjoy them, but there’s a whole mechanism around that, that’s a business mechanism, and you need to be educated on that.

And so, you know, for every time you think, you know, when people tell me that they’ve got it figured out, I’m like, okay, no, you don’t. Um, because if you think you’ve got it figured out, you’re clearly missing something. Like there’s always something new to do. So for me, that education piece was really, really important because it was like I did not understand how much I needed to know and how much I needed to learn. And then also on the flip side, how much time all that admin and marketing and learning, like, people like you, you’re a full-time writer, you can write all the time. And I’m like, yeah, I wish. Um, no, I, I don’t get to do that. And, you know, I have to schedule my writing time just like you do, just like anybody else does.

So it’s, it’s really important just to understand that, that like, this is a whole, there, there’s so much more to it when you go into doing this as a, as a living rather than I just write some things and it’s really fun. Mm-hmm. It, there’s a big difference between those two. There’s a, there’s a large transition and I did not understand that. I did not understand that at all.

Jo: Yeah. I find that so interesting because I think I’m really fortunate in that I love all the business side, probably almost as equally as much as I love the writing, right? Like, I mean writing first and foremost, but I love the learning and you do have to be constantly learning cuz everything’s changing all the time. But yeah, the, the business side is huge. It’s a huge part of it. And so I know there’s lots of people with the aspirational idea out there of wanting to be a writer, to, to be an author and that to be their profession, and that to be their full-time job and their full income and everything like that. And dare I say, it’s probably not, well, it’s not going to be the career for everybody, right? Like some people it’s maybe, yeah. If they, if they’re not into the business aspect of it, they’ve got this idea of just sitting on the beach writing books all day. That’s not at all what this business is about. So from your experience, who do you think this as a career is for? Like, what do you need as a person? What are those traits in that, that you really need to have to be able to make this work?

Troy: It’s exactly what you said is you need to love the hustle. The hustle needs to be part of your love for it. If you don’t love that hustle, if you don’t have a very entrepreneurial spirit, um, it’s going to be difficult for you.

First, I’ll address the thing of writing on the beach. I tried writing on the beach once and I got a really interesting sunburn and so. And just, yeah. My wife was like, what did you do? And I’m like, I tried writing on the beach. And she’s like, don’t do that anymore. Yeah. Um, so it was just very strange when you’re typing, your hands are kind of, anyway, it just was really odd. So first of all, don’t do that. Second of all, like, so I had a friend of mine who her dream was to be a full-time writer. Like that was, that was one of the things she wanted to do. She worked, she was like me. She worked as an editor. She did other things, but her dream was everything, like right now, everything in my life is centered around writing and publishing.

That’s all that I do. Writing, publishing, editing, it’s, it’s all centered in that world. No, there’s really nowhere else that I work all that much, except some in education. And that’s a whole different topic, and that’s just a passion, right? But everything else is just centered around writing and publishing. Right? My friend achieved that, like she got to the point where she was editing, she was writing full-time, her books were selling well, and she looked around and said, you know what? I hate this. I hate the hustle. I hate the business part of it. I hate having to do this all the time. She knew how. She had educated herself. She was good at it. She didn’t like it. So she went back to school and is now a real estate agent who writes part-time and she’s a happier person. Yeah. So just because you think this is the career for you doesn’t mean that this is going to be the career for you. Right? You have to, you get to a certain point, you can make that decision.

It is also okay to do this as a hobby. Yeah. So people will say, well, my spouse is always getting after me, have I done anything with my writing thing? And I’m like, does your spouse golf? And this is my, one of my favorite examples. Cause I’m like, does your spouse golf? Do they buy equipment? Do they pay for lessons? Do they go places and pay money to play? I go, so next time they ask you if you’ve done anything with this writing thing, if you’re making any money from it yet go, You making any money from that golf thing? Yep. On the PGA or the ProAm tour? What’s happening with that? You moving ahead? You still wasting your Saturday mornings on that because, your writing is not a waste of time. And it is okay for it to be a hobby. You don’t have to make it into something you make a living. My wife makes great pizza. We are not opening a pizza restaurant. It’s not gonna, because that’s two different things. And my wife, I’m the entrepreneur, my risk window is like this white, I’m like, bet it all on red. My wife is like, we bought a house, let’s not bet it all on red. Right? Her risk window is smaller, which is good because she reels me in. Right? But my wife would not be the person who says, yes, let’s go start a pizza restaurant. Because the risk for that is huge. The risk for, for leaving your job and starting a writing career and keeping a writing career is tremendous.

You need to be an entrepreneur, you need to be on the edge, and you need to be willing to ride those ups and downs. There are gonna be moments, no matter how long you’ve been doing this, when you’re like, I should just maybe go get a real job because this is crazy. And you’re like, yep, it is. And yet we keep doing it in day in and day out, right? But you need to understand what it is that you’re getting into.

So for the person who wants to be a writer and do it for a living, you have to do one or two things. Either you have to be an entrepreneurial spirit and you do a lot of things yourself. Initially, until you get to a point where you can hire help, you will work some long hours and some long days. And if you’re working a day job at the same time, that will be even longer. Oh yeah. Um, my first novel was written from 4:30am to 7:30am in a little office that used to be a closet under our stairs. Right? Like if that was where I wrote, because I knew my kids wouldn’t bother me at that time of day. I knew that was one place that I could be undisturbed and nobody else wanted to go there because I didn’t really want to go there that bad. And, you know what I mean? So, but you have to be willing to make those type of sacrifices to make this work for you. So you have to be super passionate about it. And driven, entrepreneur-wise.

If you’re not keeping this as a hobby or doing it on the side as an amateur and making a little grocery money by loading some stuff up on Amazon, there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it. But if you decide to take that next step, just understand what you’re getting into because there are way easier ways to make a living. Yeah. There’re just, there’s just way easier ways to make a living. Yeah. So, yeah. Yeah.

Jo: I totally agree with everything that you say because it, my own experience, I work insane hours and it’s around a day job that has insane hours as well. And it is like my, my first novel was the same. Sometimes I’d be getting up at 4:30am in the morning, or it would be late at night. It’s my weekends, it’s my holidays. But I’m so passionate about it. And so that is the thing, like not everyone is going to have that passion and that drive to carry them through. And I think it’s a really important point that you made. There is nothing wrong with doing this as a part-time venture or as a hobby, or just as something that you love. Yeah. On the side there is like, we don’t all need to make this our profession at all. Yeah. So, yeah, I think that’s really important.

Troy: For sure. I mean, I’ll just give people an example. So I, because of where I came from, I like to give back to the writing community, right? So this year, along with everything else that I’m doing, I’m the president of Idaho Writers Guild, which is an extremely, extremely time intensive volunteer position. Like, I don’t get paid anything for it, and I’m spending a tremendous amount of time. And like we have a conference coming up in May and I just had someone come up today and say, Hey, here’s some things we need to do for the conference in May, and they really need to be done right away if people can sign up for them and stuff like that. And I’m like, there goes my weekend.

Like this type of profession overtakes your life. Now, as long as you’re okay with that, that is fine. That is wonderful. But understand that also your spouse, your friends, stuff like that also need to understand that this is a profession, that this is not something that you’re like, yeah, you know, I’m a mail carrier, and you get off at five o’clock and it’s over. Right? No. It just takes over your life and it will affect everyone around you as it does for sure.

Jo: Yeah. Yeah. And I think that’s a choice that you need to be really clear on because like you said, it comes with some really big sacrifices. Like, my friends are really aware that sometimes I’m gonna be turning them down, uh, you know, for catch ups or for things. And it’s not because I’m a horrible person, but it’s because the writing life is incredibly important to me, and hitting deadlines and doing the things that I do. And so that, and that can mean that sometimes you lose friends or people move out of your life, because yeah, it’s just not compatible with what their values and that are too. And so that can be really tough, but it is always a choice that we make what we’re willing to sacrifice for this. And I think that’s why it’s always important to have a really clear reason why you are doing this, when you go into writing and what it is that you are wanting to get out of it.

Troy: Yeah. Your why and, and what you, and understanding what you actually want out of it is what gets you through the hard days. Because there will be hard days. And I can tell you this, like writing is so much my passion, like, there has been more than once when writing has saved my life. There was a brief period in my life when I was not writing new things and it was not good. Right? It, it was just a really bad time in my life. And when I came out of that, my writing just exploded. After that it was just. But, um, there will be dark times in your life, but if writing is your thing, whether you do it as a living or as a hobby, writing can be one of the greatest therapies and the greatest things that you do with your life. Quite honestly. It can, it’s absolutely amazing. But I’m never gonna tell you that it’s easy. It’s amazing. Not easy. Yeah.

Jo: I totally agree. Not easy. But I think we all kind of, we know, deep within us, somehow, we know if something is for us. We know how much time and effort and energy and blood and sweat and tears we’re supposed to put into something. Like if it’s really is part of our kind of work that we are here on earth to do or not, you know? So I think just really listening to our intuition with that can kind of lead us down the path of whether at the end of the day, this is all worth it or not. Right? Yeah. Yeah.

Troy: For sure.

Jo: Yeah. And so you were talking, and I find this quite interesting, you were talking a bit about your wife and that and not being as open to a lot of risk in that. And my husband’s the same. He’s the one that grounds me because I’m like, I’ll just go all in if I could and quit the day job and, and just do this. And he’s like, yeah, we’ve got a mortgage, we’ve got bills, we’re going through a recession. Like, not a smart idea. Completely good. Like, yeah, he keeps me, you know, where I need to be. But how, like, has your wife always been really supportive of you doing this? Because it’s not a traditional job. Like you had those aspects of report writing and, um, being contracted out and that and then, you know, doing the ski job and doing various other things to kind of, I guess, help financially and that. But has your wife always been supportive of you and your writing dreams and career?

Troy: So my wife now, now, cause I’ve been divorced before, and a part of that, um, interestingly enough was, well, anyway, it’s, it’s kind of a long story. But when I moved down from Northern Idaho to here, the wife that I was married to now I’m no longer married to. And one of the things that happened was she expected in an area like this, that her career would take off and she would be in a much better position. And that did not happen. But it did for me. Like my career went, because suddenly I was surrounded by a network of people who were like me. Mm-hmm. Something I had never had before. And so my ability to learn, because I had somebody to learn from. You know, I wasn’t trying to look for answers online. I wasn’t. Mm-hmm. You know, I had somebody to learn from. I had a community that I could be a part of and that I could get feedback from and, you know, things like that. So it was extremely useful for me.

But my wife now, like when we met, we originally met, um, talking about writing. It was really interesting. We met through some mutual friends. We were talking about writing, and she had talked about how she wanted to do some writing. But she quickly discovered like, what this is really like. And so she’s like, yes, I’ll write when I retire. Yeah. And she, you know, she’s very job security, retirement, you know, that type of thing. Yeah. Oriented. So she’s not going to become a writer. But even though she can, and she writes well, and she writes poetry and things like that, but it’s the, the business aspect of it is not for her. Right? Yeah. But she quickly figured that out.

But it was, it, it was actually kind of funny because, when people sit down with me first and they say, I wanna write for a living like you, the very first thing I tell them almost every time is I say, do something else. And, and they’re like, what? Like, you do this for a living, what do you mean do something else? And I’m like, do you have a hobby? Family, you’re kind of fond of? Can you buy a PS5? Can you find one? Um, you know something? Because this is really like, you have to be all in. This is really hard. But now, if we get to that point in our discussion and you say, yes, I’m all in. This is what I want to do, okay, let’s talk about what that means and like, what do you mean by make a living? Like how big a house do you want? Because you’re probably not gonna get the big house in the suburbs with the Mercedes and two and a half dogs by writing a few books and throwing ’em up on Amazon. It’s gonna, there’s gonna be some significant work for you to get from where you are now to there as a writer.

So, um, but she’s very supportive. Like when I was, I was working a part-time job for Apple cause I worked there for the benefits. It was pretty awesome. Like they gave me insurance. So almost my whole check went to insurance. But I’m like, then I don’t have to pay for health insurance. Mm-hmm. And I get discounts on my Mac. I’m like, that’s great. Right? That’s awesome. And but it got to a point where I was like, I was working there but I was so busy with my writing stuff that like that was leaving me zero time. Mm. Like, and she’s like, you need to quit that job. She didn’t say you need to quit writing. She was like, you need to quit that job because it’s interfering with, you can make way more money if you’re focused over here on your writing career and what you’re doing.

Yeah. And she was absolutely right. Yeah. You know, but I was hanging onto it cause I’m like, oh look at the insurance and these little perks. And she was like, no, it’s not worth that. Yeah. So there are times when she’s supportive of what I do, but she also will say things like, you know, that conference you went to two years in a row and came home both years complaining about it? Yeah. Maybe, don’t go to that anymore. I mean, you know, and I’m like, but see, there’s the people there. And she’s like, no, just stop. So it’s, it’s very good to have someone who’s supportive of your career, but also who will point out things that you, if you were on your own, you just wander around like a pinball, bouncing off of stuff. And your spouse sometimes can serve as the bumper to say, Hey, let’s, let’s focus on what you’re doing that actually makes you money, that actually makes you happy. And these things that aggravate you, why don’t we just, why don’t those things just no longer happen anymore? Yes. And, um, so that can be really, really valuable.

So, but it is, if your spouse is not bought in at all to you writing for a living, it is probably going to be challenging to your relationship for you to continue to do that. You need to have an honest conversation with your family and those people who are close to you. And sometimes if they’re friends and they’re not super close friends, they’re just those acquaintance friends. Sometimes they will just no longer hang around you, and that’s okay because of the passion that you’re following. But you need to just have realistic discussions with them and say, Hey dude, if you text me and I text you back four days later, I might have been on deadline for a book. And it’s not that I don’t love you, not that I’m ignoring you, it’s that I put my phone in a lockbox and kept it away from me so I could finish this book. Because that’s what’s really important to me at this time. Just like if you were under a hard deadline at work. Same thing. So there’s the support system around you sometimes too.

And also, sometimes to your spouse is the wrong one to complain about, about certain things. Go talk to your writer friends. First of all, your spouse is gonna glaze over. Like, I don’t even know what you’re talking about, dude. And, um, also, also they’re gonna be like, well, suck it up and just make it work. And you’re like, you may know that that’s the answer, but that’s not what you need to hear right now. Yeah. So your spouse can be supportive, but just remember they are not your writing peers. They are, they play a different role in your life, so don’t try to drag them into that area where they really don’t wanna be and they don’t belong. Yeah. Because it, it’s not gonna work. It’s not gonna work for ’em.

Jo: That’s so true. Like I am really lucky, my husband is really supportive in that follow your passion, do what you love, but still pay the bills. So whatever you’re doing, as long as you’re paying the bills. Right. So, um, but he would never try and deter me from doing this, you know, in, in my time around the day job or anything like that. And I have lots of friends that has taken a little bit of curating a little bit, I have to say over time, who are really supportive as well. But I find found it really interesting in my, uh, with the publication in my first book or so, or first couple of books, people’s reactions around me. Like everything from, you know, like whenever it was brought up in conversation that Oh yeah, I’ve written a book, I’m an author. And some people would be very supportive. Some people would just have no reaction. And some people got a little bit kind of angry about it, like people, you know, who were, well, what makes you think you can do that? Or I, yeah. It was really weird. Some people’s reactions to it. Like I’d somehow offended them by publishing a book.

Troy: Oh, yeah. Yeah. There, it, you get interesting reactions from people, my brother. So my first trilogy of books was very much, I often tell people there’s a book inside you, you need to write. And once you write that book, then the rest of your writing career will follow. Right? But it’s, it’s very important that you, once you get that book out and you will know it, you will feel it. It, it will, I mean, it will just, it’s an amazing feeling. Right? But my first trilogy was very much that, and the first book in my trilogy, the author’s note at the beginning says, Mom, please don’t read this book. Fair enough. My brother called me the day after it was published and told me I needed to take that down and unpublish that book.

Jo: Ooh, wow. Yeah.

Troy: Which was pretty harsh. Yeah. It, it was, it was pretty harsh. And I told him no. Yeah. And chose to say, Hey, no, this is a part of a process and a part of a system and yes, I’m I that’s gonna stand. And the, the forward to the last book in that trilogy says, Mom, please read this book. Mm-hmm. There was a journey there, but he wasn’t seeing the journey. He was just seeing one thing. Right?

But I had another friend of mine from high school that downloaded my book. I hadn’t talked to him in years and all of a sudden he sends me a Facebook message like, can I call you? And I’m like, what? Cuz he is like, I read your book last night, can I call you? And I was like, What? I’m like, oh no, this is not gonna be good, right? This, this can’t possibly be good. And it, it turned out to be actually a really great conversation, where he was saying, Hey man, I read this book, like, where are you at? What’s happening with your life right now? And it was really interesting, right? But you get different reactions from people. That’s okay.

Also, just understand that if you write for a living and you go to a party, you’re gonna get weird reactions. Like you go to, sometimes I go to my wife, you know, work parties or whatever, and when they ask what I do for a living, I just want to, I have this temptation to say something else. Anything else? Hmm. I’m a plumber, whatever. As soon as you say I’m a writer, they go, so have you written anything I would’ve read? I’m like, I don’t know. What do you read? Like if you read Nicholas Sparks, probably not. Yeah. Not in, not in that same ballpark. You read mysteries and thrillers, maybe? Yep. You know, how widely read are you? So that’s a really awkward thing. Or they’ll say, yeah, I’ve always wanted to write a book. Or, and they’ll, they’ll tell you all about it, or they’ll say, I have this great idea for a book and I’ll give it to you, and if you write it, I’ll split the royalties with you.

And I mean, you think this would not happen. Like some people listening might think this would not happen. Try it. Go to a party when they ask what you do for a living. Ignore what else you might do for a living right now and just say, I’m a writer. Yeah. And see what happens. So there, there’s some, there’s definitely some up and downsides to the whole to, to this whole thing because you’re, you’re going to get different reactions and it’s, those are actually perfectly valid and they’re okay. People have no idea what a writer actually does. Mm-hmm. They don’t understand what we do for a living. And the moment you stop expecting them to, your life will be happier. Just expect that they don’t, they have no clue. They have no clue what you’re doing. And it’s just easier.

Jo: Yeah. Absolutely. Even the people closest to us, I think, uh, quite often really have no idea what we do, what we spend, why it’s so time consuming. And I’ve had that. I’ve also had, um, when I’ve said that, you know, I’m an author and that, and I’ve had people ask how much do you make from your books? Which is kind of an interesting question to me, because you wouldn’t really ask that of any other profession. How much do you make? You know, like mm-hmm. It. Yeah. People have a unusual idea around what being a writer or an author is.

Troy: Yeah. I like to turn that around and just go, what do you do for a living? How much do you make? Yeah. And they’re like, well, I’m kind of uncomfortable telling you about my salary. Okay. Yeah. So am I. That’s a hint, my friend. I’m not telling you. Um, you know, or, or they’ll be like, so how do you do that? Or, where do your ideas come from? Hmm. And I’m like, that is like, you would, they ask weird details about your job as a writer, that you would never ask anyone else about any other profession, but for some reason, and this includes if you’re in music or the arts you’re gonna get the same thing. Yeah. It’s the same thing. You’re gonna get people that are like, what about the, and you’re like, what in the world do you mean like. Anyway, so, um, it, it’s, it’s really strange. It’s actually, it’s okay, but it is a part of writing for a living. If you come out and just, it’s like coming out, come out and say, Hey, I’m a writer. And people are like, Ooh, that’s strange. Yeah. You know? Um, but sometimes like you have to tell your neighbors because otherwise they’re like, what is this guy doing at home all the time? And he’s in his pajamas when he is in the yard. I know what’s going on. Like, you know? Yeah. Like, he never gets dressed. He never leaves the house. What does this guy do? Um, but anyway, so Yeah.

Jo: Yeah, that’s, yeah, very, very true. And what you were saying about your high school friend reaching out to you too. I think this is really for anybody who’s just starting on this path that was really eye-opening to me was the people I was expecting to be really, really supportive, uh, particularly when I’m talking family and extended family, the people I was expecting to be really supportive and go buy all my books and read all my books just because they wanted to support me. Didn’t. There were some that did. Oh, no. But they, you know, but others, uh, like, like my brother, I thought, oh, yeah, you know, like, he’ll, he’s not a huge reader, but I’m sure he’ll, you know, Nope, nope, never talks about the book side of things. And then there are other family members whom I didn’t even think liked me, who are now my biggest cheerleaders because I have written some books that they really enjoyed. And it’s just, yeah, it, it’s blown me away. Yeah. It’s crazy.

Troy: I tell people that too. I’m like, if you have certain members of your family, that you don’t want to talk to you throughout the year, you just see them at holidays, you don’t want them to talk to you throughout the year, give them a copy of your book for Christmas. You won’t hear from them for months because they’re terrified you’ll ask what did you think? Yeah. And they haven’t read it yet. Yeah, they haven’t read it yet, and they probably won’t. And so it’s like you just have to, this is a part of the other thing you have to accept, but like, I have an aunt who’s like, I would not expect her to be supportive of my writing at all, but one of my dad’s sisters, but man alive, she’s like one of my biggest cheerleaders. Yeah. She’ll tell me, so-and-so’s gonna call you. I told her you were a writer and wrote these books, and she looked up all your stuff on Amazon. You know, and like, she does that all the time. And I’m like, I don’t, I have no clue why, because she’s not someone that’s like super close to me, but it’s, but I love her for it. It, it’s wonderful that she does that, but like, if the many things about the writing life and your career are going to be different than you expect. Mm. And so also the sooner that you embrace that part of it as well, the easier it is to just kinda let that go.

So there are some friends, some people that are not gonna read your stuff. There’s one friend of mine that I have that every time I come out with a book, I, I go and hand deliver it signed to her house because she wants it like right now. Yeah. You know? Um, so you’re gonna have both, you’re gonna have a mix of both. Embrace it, deal with it. It’s fine, you know, it’s part of the deal.

Jo: Yeah. And you’ve definitely gotta develop a little bit of that thick skin as well, because we can’t be taking these things personally. And I learnt that super fast, which was really good that, you know, like not all my loved ones and the people I care about, and my friends and that are even readers, like some of them don’t even read. And as crazy as I find that personally, because who doesn’t love to read books? But there’s a lot of people out there. And so you do have to make sure that you don’t take it personally. They’re not your audience anyway, so. Yeah. Yeah. It’s a, it’s a good thing to learn.

Troy: Yeah, for sure. Same thing with editing and stuff like that. Just develop a thick skin. Yes. Your writing is not for everyone. And now they do a lot of teaching too. I tell people, I know it’s astonishing to you, but not everyone likes my teaching style. So some people go take courses from other people. Yep. Shock. I know you’re shocked, but it’s true. Right? So yeah. You can’t expect everyone to love your voice and the way you do things and the way you teach and the way you write. Because if you think about it, like even your dog doesn’t like some people, you know? I mean, it’s just, you know, and they kind of do it, and that they segregate that naturally. It’s going to happen. This is the way things are. So just, again, it’s one thing to just embrace it and say, okay, this is the reality of this life as a writer. And I’m just going to accept this as part of where I am now and, and what my life is about. Yeah. And the sooner you accept all of the things that come with the writing life, the easier it becomes to just allow that to integrate into your life.

And so if people are not, you know, to a certain extent, if they’re not supportive and they’re not either, they can still be those distant friends of yours, or in some cases, you just need to not talk to ’em anymore. And it’s, it’s okay. It’s fine because this becomes so all-consuming it, it can feel very personal when someone says, I don’t like this or don’t like that. Yeah. Yeah. Of when they’re close to you. So it’s okay. It’s okay to just kind of show some people the door if you need to.

Jo: Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, I have a last kind of question for you. We had talked when it wasn’t recording at the end of the last episode where we kind of chatted, and you had said that there is never a good time to kind of go in for writing or to leave your day job and things like that. And so if we are talking about those people who are incredibly passionate about writing, really feel in their hearts that they want to be doing this as a full-time profession, they have that entrepreneurial spirit, they’re trying to do, you know, they’re, they’re doing all the things, they’re getting their business side set up and that, they really kind of fit that bill of somebody who could make this a success, even if maybe the money’s not flowing in yet. Even though there’s maybe never a good time, what do you think are some signs of readiness?

Troy: So, so what I’ll tell you this is, is there’s never a perfect time. It’s kinda like people that say, you know, my wife and I are waiting for the perfect time to have children. Okay. You’re gonna be childless. Because there is never, there’s never a perfect time. Perfect. Yeah. Right. Because people will tell you, okay, you should have six months of, of operating capital and you should have this in the bank and that in the bank. But if you sit down in a room with a group of professional writers and you say, how many of you had six months income in the bank when you quit your day job? There are gonna be almost no hands will go up. Like we would love to describe to you these ideal situations, but if you wait until that situation is ideal, you won’t do it.

So there comes a tipping point when you think like, I did what that, like my wife told me with that one part-time job, that part-time job is actually costing you money. Mm-hmm. When you say, if I was doing all these right things with my writing and everything went well, if I quit my job, I would actually make more money, cause I would’ve more time to concentrate on this business and the writing thing. Then that’s the time to make that transition. Conditions may not be perfectAnd also understand that that landing may be rougher than you think. As prepared as you are, there’s gonna take some time for the shift in mentality to be like, I don’t have to go to work today, so what time do I get up? Um, you know, things like that. So you learn to set your own schedule and set aside block time for writing and for marketing and for all the things that you need to do. And that’s gonna take you some time to develop a system that’s gonna work for you. So it’s probably not going to be perfect. This is where your spouse being supportive is very helpful, especially if they have a steady job that they can say, okay, if things are rough for a little bit, I gotcha. I can handle this.

But, usually what’s going to happen with that is you’re going to smooth out because you’re going to have to, you’re gonna be forced into that situation of like, the money I had in the bank is running out, and now is the time I need to scale this like right now and make it happen, whatever that looks like. Okay? So when, when I say there’s not a good time, it means there’s not a perfect time, there’s not a perfect time to do this, and that is okay. But it has to be very much a gut thing for you that you feel that you are ready. And what I mean by ready is you’re ready to weather that storm that will come when you quit your day job.

But so there, there’s no perfect time for most people. If you happen to be one of those that’s super organized and you have six months of savings and you have all those things in the bank, and the conditions are perfect for you. Great. Come tell me about them at a conference sometime, but buy me drinks first so that I can handle your level of perfection compared to my level of imperfection. Um, but yeah, but so that, that, and this is a good place to end thing is, is to say, Hey, there is nothing perfect about the life of a writer. There’s nothing perfect. There are great things. There are bad things. There are mediocre things. There are, even from time to time some terrible things. But it’s the most amazing profession you can ever embark on if you can bring yourself to do it. So if you’re looking for the perfect time, it’s never gonna happen. It’s kinda like your manuscript, eventually you’re done and it’s time to take the leap.

Jo: Yeah. Love it. Woohoo. Ah, thank you so much. Thank you so much. That’s yeah, so much goodness. Can you just, uh, remind my listeners again where they can find you and how they can reach out to you and all that good stuff?

Troy: So probably the easiest place to start is my website, troylambertwrites.com, but you can find me on all those socials. I always tell people, just Google me. If I don’t come up your internet is down, and once you get that service restored, if you Google Troy Lambert, you’ll find me. I’m all over the place. But just an easy place to start is my website, you’ll find out about my books. There’s a section there for author things if you want to talk to me about editing, email list, plotting, things like that. There’s a, there’s a place for you to be able to do that. So, yeah.

Jo: Awesome. Great. Well, thank you so much. I so appreciate you coming back on the show, Troy. It’s been fantastic. So good.

Troy: Well, thank you so much for having me, and yes, we, we will have to do it again sometime. This is so much fun.

Jo: It, it really is.

Wow. Just wow. I don’t know about you, but I found this episode so affirming in so many ways. And whatever you’re writing or author aspirations, whether it’s to be full-time, part-time or a hobbyist, I hope that you did too. So here’s some takeaways from today’s show:

1. Words are valuable. Words are worth money. And writing is a talent not everyone has.

2. No matter how many books you’ve written, if you’re not marketing your books, they’re not going to sell.

3. Ensure you’re working on both the craft and business side of writing and keep up to date with changes in the industry.

4. Network and connect with other authors, learn from their mistakes and their successes.

5. Expect to always be learning.

6. Put creating the company for your book at the top of your to-do list, you’ll need this for taxes and to segregate your income.

7. A love for the hustle, an entrepreneurial spirit, clarity on your why, passion, and a willingness to ride the ups and downs, are key to making a living as an author.

8. Give yourself permission to write as a hobby. Not everyone needs to go all in. Your path is just as valid.

9. Develop a thick skin. Know that your writing won’t be for everyone. And that includes your family and friends.

10. If, you know, you know. There is no perfect time.

I would love to hear what takeaways and aha moments you had from today’s show. So you can drop me a line at jo@jobuer.Com or slip into my DMs on Instagram, which is where I generally hang out.

If you’re wanting to hear more from Troy, and if you maybe missed my previous chat with him, make sure you go back and listen to Episode 47: Plotting with Plottr. I’ll also be adding links to connect with Troy in the show notes as well. And if you’re a Gothic suspense fan, my novella Between is now available as an ebook or paperback. And you can find my books wide, request from your local library, or check out my website at https://jobuer.com.

As always, I am so appreciative of you tuning in. If you’d like to support the show further, be sure to subscribe, rate, or review or tell a friend. You can also buy me a coffee at www.buymeacoffee.com/jobuer. This all helps me to keep recording and bring you more wonderful conversations with industry experts like Troy.

Otherwise, I am wishing you a wonderful week ahead, my friends. Happy writing.

author life, author mindset, Freelancing, full-time author, making a living an an author, quit your day job