Indie Author: Jack of All Trades. Master of One. (Yearly checkup)

A year ago, almost to the day, I wrote the following post, writing out all the different hats I realized that I would have to wear as an indie author. When I originally posted this, I was an extreme newbie, only four months into my indie author career. So I thought I’d look back and see how I have improved, if, indeed, I have. So the original post remains below, but I will add parenthesis after each point with a comment to see how I have grown in this area. What about you?)

I shall not tell a lie: being an indie author is a lot of work. There are so many different hats one has to wear. Hopefully, the one I am best at is the writing part. Indie authors must master the writing. Without that, nothing else matters.

However, as we all know, the job doesn’t end there. Indie authors must certainly be ‘jacks of all trades.’  Here’s a few:

  • Editor  (I’m much better at editing my own writing. I’ve learned a lot about writing and mechanics and when I pass it on to my editor and proofreader, they can most definitely tell a difference.)
  • Proofreader  (I’m much more patient than I ever was, and I know better what to look for)
  • Graphic Designer (I’ve definitely improved by leaps and bounds in this area. I’m learning photo-shop – I didn’t even know how to use layers last year – I’m getting a better eye on layout and design. I do a lot of this for the web.)
  • Ad Campaign Executive (I understand the ad game way better than I did. I have my definite opinions about what is useful and what is a waste of money.)
  • Critic (I’ve slowed down my writing, and this has helped me to look at it more critically. I used to hate re-writing scenes, but now I understand the necessity.)
  • Public Speaker (I’ve always enjoyed this, and I still do.)
  • Blogger  (I’m a much more prolific blogger than I was a year ago. I’ve come to enjoy it, and I push myself to get something out everyday.)
  • Reader (I’m not much of a reader. I have a whole blog post on this coming up. Stay tuned.)
  • Philosopher (Oh yes, I dream about ideas all the time.)
  • Self-Motivational Speaker (It’s easy to get discouraged. I keep telling myself that I’m in it for the long haul.)
  • Counselor (Writers can be real psych jobs. There is so much going on upstairs sometimes that I need to tell myself to cool it.)
  • Cheerleader (I’m an awkward cheerleader for myself. I suppose everyone is. Who likes self-promotion? But I also believe in myself, and the only way people are going to know about my writing is I get it out there. So, go me!
  • Administrative Assistant (I’ve learned to keep records of contact with bloggers and reviewers. I’ve learned to keep copy of receipts.)
  • Copy Editor (I need to grow in this area.)
  • Web Page Designer  (I’ve gotten much better and I generally like it.)
  • Author (I love being an author. I love writing and getting my stories out to readers.)
  • Entrepreneur (I’m still learning the business side. Just went through my first tax season as an indie author.)
  • Cook (this one is crucial – almost as important as the writing part) (I still enjoy cooking. I just need more time to do it.)
  • (Did I miss any?)

Yes, quite the list, and I’m sure I’ve missed some. I have a new found respect for all those entrepreneurs – from any field – who have found their way through years of sweat and hard work. They’ve learned countless skills along the way; some of the skills seem to just get in the way of what your main focus should be, but it becomes obvious that all of them are important in one way or another.

But as an indie author, it always must come back to the most important one overall – being a writer and putting in the time to write. I, unfortunately, don’t have time to write everyday. Sometimes not even every week. But I am fortunate enough to have weeks off at a time, a couple times a year, where I can sharpen my pencil and punch out a serious amount of words. I find that the list of jobs above better describes what I actually do most of the year.

So let’s raise our laptops in honor of hard-working indie authors everywhere! You are blazing new trails, and I’m enjoying being along for the ride.

(I’m still having a blast and enjoying the ride. Here’s to another year!)


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