Become a Writer Today

Balancing Creative Writing, Business and Ghost Writing With Jessie Kwak

December 19, 2022 Bryan Collins Season 2
Become a Writer Today
Balancing Creative Writing, Business and Ghost Writing With Jessie Kwak
Show Notes Transcript

Balancing writing fiction and nonfiction, can you do it? What about writing across genres? Should you pick one genre or take on multiple genres for your books?

A couple of years ago, I worked with a marketing executive for Become a Writer Today, and he asked me what I liked to write.

I explained that I wrote a series of books about the craft of writing, a couple of books about creativity, and some short stories back in the day.

I'd also recently written a book called I Can't Believe I'm a Dad.

I asked him which of these projects he could help me promote. He said, "the writing books" because they connected to my business.

When I asked about I Can't Believe I'm a Dad, a passion project I wrote that I really wanted people to read, he said, "Bryan, you need to stay in your lane. You need to pick one genre and stick to it."

What he said struck a chord with me. At first, I wondered if he was right.

But here's the thing about writing and creative work — while it's OK to write something that pays the bills, sometimes you need to write something because it's a story you want to tell or a message you want to get out into the world.

So if you're writing something outside of your genre or niche, don't necessarily worry about sales or the result. Write it because you love it and because you enjoy the process.

The divergence between creative and nonfiction work is a theme for this week's podcast episode. I recently caught up with Jessie Kwak. She's a science fiction author. She also writes supernatural thrillers and is a ghostwriter and former copywriter.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • How copywriting helped Jessie get a break in professional writing
  • Her career as a ghostwriter
  • Why Jessie chose to write fiction and nonfiction
  • How she balances two completely different types of writing
  • What her typical daily writing routine looks like
  • The challenges that freelance writers face when they go out on their own for the first time



Support the show

If you enjoyed the show please leave a review on Apple. And if you have any questions you can find me on Twitter @BryanJCollins

Thanks for listening!

Jessie: Finishing one project is huge, but even if you’ve been balancing a bunch of projects for a while, knowing how much you can handle at any one point is also huge. So, I know I can push forward one client project and one fiction project and maybe one other sort of thing at the same time, but if I’ve got three client projects going at once, I’m probably not going to be writing any fiction and I know that about myself and so just knowing your capacity and working within that, I think, is really important.


Welcome to the Become a Writer Today Podcast with Bryan Collins. Here, you’ll find practical advice and interviews for all kinds of writers.

Bryan: Balancing writing fiction and nonfiction, can you do it? Well, what about writing across genres? Should you pick one genre or should you take on multiple different genres for your books? Hi, there. My name is Bryan Collins and welcome to the Become a Writer Today Podcast.

A couple of years ago, I was working with a marketing executive who wanted to help with some promotion activities for Become a Writer Today and he asked me what I liked to write so I explained that I wrote a series of books about the craft of writing, that I wrote a couple of books about creativity, some short stories back in the day, and I’d recently written a book called I Can’t Believe I’m a Dad, and I asked him which one of these books could you help me promote and he said, “Well, Bryan, I can help you promote the writing books because they connect to your site all about writing,” and I said, “Well, that’s great but what about the book that I just wrote called I Can’t Believe I’m a Dad?” It was a passion project that I wrote during the lockdown and I really wanted people to read it. In other words, it wasn’t something that I did to earn a lot of revenue or to do something for the business. And he paused for a moment and then he said, “Bryan, you need to stay in your lane. You need to pick one genre and stick to it.” 

What he said struck a chord with me. At first, I thought, “Is he right? Should I not write something that I feel could be a good story? Should I not write something that I feel a creative urge to tell? Should I only pick one genre, niche, or topic and stick to it?” Because surely that would help me sell more books and earn more money. But here’s the thing about writing and creative work — while it’s fine to write something that pays the bills and something that will help build your business, if you’re a writer, sometimes you need to write something because it’s a story that you want to tell, like my book, I Can’t Believe I’m a Dad, or you simply can write something because it’s fun, like my book, or perhaps it’s simply a message that you want to get out into the world. In other words, some people write books for money, some write books to make an impact, and some write to share their stories with the world. So if you’re writing something that’s outside of your genre or niche, don’t necessarily worry about sales or the end result. Write it because you love it and because you enjoy the process, and then you can go back and write something that would help you build your business. 

The divergence between creative work and nonfiction work is a theme for this week’s podcast episode too. I recently caught up with Jessie Kwak. She’s a science fiction author. She also writes supernatural thrillers and she’s a ghostwriter and former copywriter. I had a good conversation with Jessie about how copywriting helped her get a break into the world of professional writing and the impact that had on her career as a ghostwriter. But I was particularly interested to understand why Jessie chooses to write fiction and nonfiction and she offers a good insight into how she balances these two completely different types of writing. Jessie also explains what her typical writing routine and her writing day looks like and she elaborates on a common challenge that many freelance writers have when they go out on their own for the first time, and that’s certainly a challenge that I faced and which I wish I’d learned to overcome sooner. 

Hope you enjoy this week’s interview with Jesse Kwak. If you do, please consider leaving a short review on the iTunes Store. Here’s why — your reviews and ratings help more listeners find the Become a Writer Today Podcast, so hit the Star button and rate the show. And you can, of course, share the show with another writer or another friend on Overcast, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you’re listening. And if you have feedback, I’m on Twitter, at @bryanjcollins. 

Now, let’s go over to this week’s interview. 


Bryan: Welcome to the show, Jessie.

Jessie: Thanks for having me.

Bryan: I love catching up with other writers and authors who are taking on different genres and disciplines and the reason is I once worked with somebody who told me I needed to stay in my lane and pick one genre and not write anything else so I don’t like being told what to do so I can’t wait to hear about how you balanced ghostwriting and writing for your clients with, I suppose, more creative writing. But before we get into that, what did your writing journey look like? How did you get started?

Jessie: Yeah, so I have always loved writing. I was telling stories when I was a kid and I wrote my very first novel when I was in middle school, longhand in a journal, that I think my mom probably still has somewhere. But I eventually went to college, got a literature degree, and really wanted to write mostly science fiction and fantasy, that sort of thing, but eventually got working as a copywriter to pay off that college degree and found out that I really loved it and I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it nearly as much as I do because I thought, oh, well, the fun stuff is the fiction, but it turns out, copywriting is also super fun and so that’s how I got into copywriting which then moved me into meeting more people who are looking for ghostwriters and now that’s the bulk of my freelance business is essentially ghostwriting business books for coaches and consultants, those sorts of folks.

Bryan: Copywriting is a great skill for any writer to acquire. I worked as a copywriter for several years as well and I really enjoyed it. But it’s not something that you can learn from a literature degree or, to be honest, from any degree, because, as far as I’m aware, it’s not really taught in universities or in colleges. So, how did you acquire or hone your copywriting skills?

Jessie: It’s funny because I say, like when I went and got my literature degree, the way that they taught you, “Oh, this is how you’ll make money as a writer,” is you’ll go on and get your MFA and then with your Masters of Fine Arts, like then what do you do with that, I asked. “Well, you’ll teach in an MFA program.” Well, that’s not making a living with my writing. So, actually, I waited tables for a lot of years after graduation and eventually met somebody who had worked as a copywriter, she was one of the regulars at the bar that I worked at, and we got to talking about, “Oh, you like to write? And have you ever thought about working in writing? I used to work—” She was a copywriter for Expedia and so she basically coached me through how to get my first job, which was as a catalog copywriter for a children’s company. So, I got my foot in the door there and learned about the first — I guess the first form of copywriting I mastered was product copy and catalog copy and then some website copy then I started learning about blogging and it was really just taking on little jobs one at a time and learning the next thing. So I’m very much self-taught. Learned a lot from reading books and blog posts on the internet and things like that. 

Bryan: Product copy can be deceptively complicated, depending on the product. 

Jessie: Oh, my gosh, yeah. 

Bryan: People think those descriptions write themselves but what I found when I was working as a copywriter, it was for a software company, but a marketing executive would present me a PowerPoint deck with all the features that the product had and they would say, “Now, put that in the webpage.” It’s very hard to turn that into something that people will want to read, let alone make a decision to buy something based on.

Jessie: Oh, absolutely. 

Bryan: Was there any copywriting books that made an influence on you or resources?

Jessie: The main resource that I came across in my early days was a website called, it’s run by Carol Tice, and I just read every single article on that site. And then she also runs — it’s called the Freelance Writers Den and it’s an online community where you can network with other writers and they do different training so that was the main place where I learned and networked and met a lot of people that I’m still friends with today.

Bryan: It’s a good resource. Yeah, I’m familiar with that site and I wrote for Carol’s site years ago. I think she subsequently sold the site but the content is still there and her Freelance Writers Den is still there. So, at what point did you break out from writing product copy to working with your ghostwriting clients?

Jessie: Let’s see, it was probably maybe five years into my copywriting journey. I, eventually, after about a year and a half, left the catalog company job and went freelance because I just realized I liked setting my own schedule so much better. So, it’s probably five years into working full time as a freelancer that I ended up getting a job where I was going to be blogging but for a bunch of different thought leaders and experts and so my job was to essentially ghostwrite a different blog post for 20 different people for this website that was going up. I had done a little bit of ghostwriting for the CEO or the whoever it might be of whatever. I did a lot of blogging for software-as-a-service companies, but this was the first time that I really got to hone my chops in interviewing somebody and then really distilling their voice and ideas and doing it in 20 different ways and 20 different voices and I loved it so much so that was my first little foray into ghostwriting. And, actually, one of the people that I worked with on that project later came to me and said, “Hey, I loved working with you. Are you looking for more clients for ghostwriting?” So I then started working with him doing more blogging and now a book project.

Bryan: Nice, nice. And were you also working on your science fiction books as well? At the same time?

Jessie: Yeah, yeah. So that was — figuring out — you mentioned balancing the fiction work and the freelance work and figuring that out has been such a journey, because, originally, one of the reasons that I quit the first catalog job was I didn’t like working eight to five with all of my creative hours put in somebody else’s project and I wanted more flexibility over my time so I thought, well, if I go freelance, I’ll have more flexibility over my time. Unfortunately, when you first start a business, you end up spending all of your time on that business and it is very difficult to make time for the thing that you thought you were going to, which was, in my case, the fiction. So, it took me a few years to get that balance and, now — well, part of getting that balance was growing my business enough where I was taking on higher paying jobs and I could spend less time working for the same amount of money. So, advancing my skills as a copywriter helped. Yeah, now, I try to mostly spend my mornings writing fiction and my afternoons working on client work and that’s been pretty, pretty successful for me over the last few years.

Bryan: Yeah, so I try to spend my mornings writing or recording videos or whatever type of creative work I’m working on and then the afternoon business stuff so, in my case, it’s researching keywords for articles or invoicing or all that good stuff. The stuff that can take up a lot of time but which isn’t much fun. So, when you were working on your business, you were saying you were freelancing as well. So, a problem I had when I was freelancing was I would work on a big project and then the end of the month would come and I’d submit the projects but I hadn’t spent any time finding more clients and then I’d have a scramble to find another client and that caused a lot of issues for me back in the day. Was that something that you were able to overcome? 

Jessie: Yeah, that is — the ebb and flow of freelancing is that’s always a challenge. Part of my business model has been — because, originally, it was built so much on blogging, then I was getting regular clients that would say, “Okay, I need two to three blog posts a month,” and I’d have three or four those clients and so if one of them fell away then I still had other clients that I could take some time and get a new prospect, some new people. So, having that recurring income really helped, but now, now that I’m ghostwriting business books, it is back to that model of like, “All right, well, I finished that one, where’s the next one coming from?” So, yeah, making that time to go out and do the networking and do some thought leadership and writing those blog posts that you can put on Medium or on LinkedIn or wherever it is, trying to get your name out there, you have to really balance that with the work but it can be hard when the work takes up so much time.

Bryan: It can. I mentioned at the start of the episode about being told to stay in my lane and a lot of business books would say you need to just focus on one thing. So, I suppose what would drive you to write fiction and then also to ghostwrite and write business books? Because they’re different genres and require different types of creative skills.

Jessie: Well, I think part of it is I love writing fiction and I would have a hard time visualizing a life in which I don’t write fiction. I like trying different things. So, primarily, right now, I’ve been working on a sci-fi series but, as you mentioned, I’ve also written supernatural thrillers. I’ve got a fantasy series that I’m playing around with that might see the light of day sometime. I guess I just naturally get curious about other things and maybe that’s partly why I decided to go freelance early on is I just — I wanted a different sort of project every other week instead of, “Well, we’re just gonna do the same catalog over and over and over and over.” So natural curiosity and inability to just throw everything else aside and say, “This is the one thing, I’m gonna put all my eggs in this basket.”

Bryan: Yeah, I find it’s good to have two or three projects rather than one on the go, assuming, of course, you’re able to finish a project. 

Jessie: Yeah.

Bryan: I would say to somebody who’s starting out, just finish a project first, whether it’s a book or whatever, before you take on the second one. But once you’re comfortable with that, you can take on two or three. But you mentioned your organization. So how do you manage all your freelancing — your ghostwriting and then your own creative work and your fiction? What does your writing system look like?

Jessie: Yeah, a lot of Post-It notes. I have a whiteboard that I — it’s a little bit like, I don’t know if you’re familiar with the Trello board or Kanban boards. 

Bryan: Yeah, I use Trello quite a lot. 

Jessie: Yeah, you’re moving a card from one part of the process all the way through to finish. And so I have sticky notes that’s projects that are on the backburner, the ones that are on deck that I need to start thinking about, the ones I’m actually working on this week, anything that’s in a holding pattern, and then, of course, the nice — the big area at the bottom for finished projects and put the sticky notes down there. So, I use that as my big overall, “Okay, this is what’s on my plate,” and anytime I think, “Oh, maybe I’ll write a book about this,” I’ll write it on a sticky note and I’ll put it in the backburner. And, eventually, sometimes I’m like, “You know what, I’m never gonna do that,” and throw it away but there are things that have been on there for 6, 12 months and I’m like, “No, that’s — I’ll get to that. I’ll get to that someday.” So that’s kind of my big overall, how I keep track of the major things that are happening. And then I break those down into what needs to be done throughout the year. So, okay, right now, I’m working on this book and it’s due at the end of the month so I’ll write this due date here so I’ve got a visual month-by-month calendar that just has deadlines and what will I be working on. And so that helps me then see, okay, if I say I want to publish four books this year, that’s clearly not going to happen, given all of the other stuff that’s in here so let’s revise that goal. And then, with that, I just break it down week by week and say, “Okay, well, I need to work on this for two hours a day,” or, “I need to write 1,000 words a day on this project,” and just slowly move the ball forward on the things that are in focus right now and just making sure — I mean, like you mentioned, if you’re just starting out, finishing one project is huge, but even if you’ve been balancing a bunch of projects for a while, knowing how much you can handle at any one point is also huge. So, I know I can push forward one client project and one fiction project and maybe one other sort of thing at the same time, but if I’ve got three client projects going at once, I’m probably not going to be writing any fiction and I know that about myself. And so just knowing your capacity and working within that, I think, is really important.

Bryan: There’s an excellent book called Personal Kanban by Jim Benson. I can’t remember his co-author at the moment. But he basically said what you’ve described. You visualize your work, so it’s on Trello or a whiteboard, and then you limit your work in progress and they actually recommend working on two to three projects, which it sounds like you’re doing. So, for your system, do you have your business and your creative work combined in one place or do you keep them in two separate parts of the board or Trello?

Jessie: I keep them in one place because I have separated them in the past and I find it’s way too easy for me to underestimate how much other things I have going on if I don’t see it all together. 

Bryan: Yeah, I like to do something similar as well. And do you plan out what you’re doing each day and each week or do you go like granular?

Jessie: Yeah, I sit down at the beginning of every week and then basically look at my deadlines, any deadlines I have throughout the week, put in any meetings that I might have, and then work backwards from there. So I know if I need to turn in the chapter a client on Thursday, I need to spend two days drafting that ahead of time and so then I just break out the work into chunks and plot my week out by day.

Bryan: Yeah, I do something similar as well. So you mentioned before about your copywriting background and I can understand that would be very helpful for writing business books, the sub headlines and the chapter titles and so on. Does it have any impact on your fiction or do you need to just put on a completely different hat when you’re writing science fiction?

Jessie: It does and it doesn’t and I’ve — they’ve started to combine a little bit more the deeper I’ve gotten into my freelancing career. But one thing that I find really does have a big impact on my fiction is that one of my very first jobs was writing apartment descriptions for, it was a company called Onefinestay, and they’re basically Airbnb but for fancy or rich houses and so I was writing these just lavish descriptions of these four-bedroom lofts in Tribeca and in London and Paris and all over the place and I loved describing all the details of the rooms and figuring out how to say it in such a way that would really bring you into this home and make you want to rent it. And I’ve noticed that my room descriptions in all of my fiction books are now like, “Oh, the chandelier, blah, blah, blah,” I really get into it.

Bryan: Because you’ve had a lot of practice. 

Jessie: Yeah.

Bryan: So when you write fiction, I know you write sagas or like a series of books. Have you mapped out the series in advance or do you just take one book at a time?

Jessie: So I’m working on my second long series right now. And the very first one, I did not map it out ahead of time and it’s five books and I managed to do like a complete story arc that I think turned out pretty well at the end, but the whole way through, I was not sure what was happening next and that was very stressful. So, with this new series, I’m plotting things way ahead of time. Actually, as I mentioned, being a very visual person, on my other wall, I’ve got like nine books of the series in Post-It notes all over that with plot points for each book and, okay, in this book, we’re getting to this person’s character arc and all of that. So, this series has been very well plotted out but that’s not always been the case for me and it’s much more stressful to not have it plotted out for me.

Bryan: Yeah, well, for nonfiction, I find outlining is essential, at least for me. I would find it very hard to sit down and write nonfiction if I didn’t have an outline or a plan for what the article or the book is going to be about. And so I was looking at how you sell some of your books online and you’ve tried a couple of different options. Please correct me if I’m wrong here but you’ve tried small press, self-publishing, and selling direct via Payhip, and you also use BookFunnel, and I think you’re on Amazon as well. Were there any particular avenues that have worked quite well for you? 

Jessie: Yeah, so my nonfiction, I have a couple of different books on basically productivity and creativity for creative folks and writers and so those are all with a small press and that has been wonderful for me, partly because I already have my freelance business, I’ve got the fiction side of things, the idea of like running a nonfiction wing of publishing as well, it was too much. So, working with, Microcosm Publishing is the name of the company, they’ve just been fantastic. They’ve got their own distribution, they’ve got fantastic editors and designers who’ve worked on the books, so that’s the small press aspect. And then all of my fiction is self-published and part of the reason for that was I was already running a freelance business and I was already doing all the marketing and all of the business nuts and bolts that went around publishing, I was like, “Well, I can handle all that,” so that’s been a really, really fun journey. As you said, I’ve got the books on Amazon. One series is — the new series is just on Amazon now. All of my older books are available on all the platforms. And then I’ve also been selling direct through my website, which is it’s a smaller portion of the business but it is slowly trickling into a bigger part of my sales, which is really cool too, and you mentioned BookFunnel. BookFunnel just makes it really easy to deliver eBooks if you do direct sales on your website. They also have audiobooks in beta and so I’m part of their beta program to test audiobook sales and that’s just been really seamless.

Bryan: So I use BookFunnel as well but can you sell with BookFunnel or do you have to connect it to Payhip?

Jessie: Actually, I use WooCommerce through my WordPress site and so they just do the deliver — BookFunnel just does delivery, rather, so they connect to, I think they can do like through PayPal sales, Payhip, and WooCommerce and they just make it really easy. It’s like you make this little delivery action, connect it to a sale on your site, and then automatically it happens.

Bryan: Yeah, that’s how I deliver the books as well. I think they’re fantastic. Particularly because Amazon is more difficult to sell books on these days, unless you’re prepared to invest significantly in advertising or you have an existing audience and an email list that you can leverage. So, in terms of the small press, one question I get asked a lot is how can I publish with a small press. Is it a case that you approach the small press directly or do you need to go through an agent?

Jessie: I think with most small presses, you can approach them directly. I have several friends that run small fiction presses and they normally don’t take agents and submissions, though you can just submit. With this particular small press, Microcosm, you can approach them directly and part of — and I did. I’m friends with one of the editors and so we’d collaborated on things in the past.

Bryan: Okay, okay. And when it comes to — you mentioned that they take care of everything in the book. Do they edit the book and get the cover designed and so on?

Jessie: Uh-huh. I love working with a really good editor both for my fiction. I’ve got someone that I hire and then, with Microcosm, they have editors that they have on staff but working with a good editor is amazing.

Bryan: Yeah, I find that working with an editor has a couple of benefits. It can improve the quality of your manuscript, which I suppose is the primary goal. But even if the book doesn’t work out as planned, you actually learn more about how to edit yourself and also how to edit books, which is a useful skill for any writer to have. And years ago, when I wrote my first book, I tried to edit it myself because I thought I was a journalist and I’d know how to do it, but it turns out editing is a different skill set so I had to go back and hire an editor later. So, don’t try and edit your first book would be my piece of advice. So I’m looking at your book, From Chaos to Creativity, and it has a really distinctive visual look and there’s actually large images inside of the book. Did you design those or draw it all yourself or did the small press put them together for you?

Jessie: Yeah, that was all Microcosm. 

Bryan: Wow, that’s very impressive, yeah. 

Jessie: Yeah. It’s a beautifully designed little book and one of the sort of themes in it, I make a joke early on about cows, chaos sounding like cows, and particularly with an old boss I used to have who was German and he would say, “There’s cows everywhere,” and so I made it this joke about cows and that became a theme in the book and so there’s just all sorts of fun drawings of cows all throughout this book, which I grew up on a farm so it’s pretty relevant.

Bryan: Nice. So what are you writing at the moment? You’re working on your new series, is there any other big projects on the backburner?

Jessie: Yeah, I’m actually — I’m taking a little bit of a break from writing fiction right now because I’m editing an anthology of sci-fi crime short stories and so that is — I’ve been getting the submissions, I’m starting to read through them, and that should probably, you mentioned this might be out in the fall, so Crooked is the name of the anthology series and it will be out some time in the fall so maybe by the time this drops, your readers will be able to find it.

Bryan: I read a lot of science fiction and I did think about writing science fiction at one point and I took a course on masterclass and it was all about how to write science fiction, but then I decided I enjoy reading it too much so I didn’t want to turn it into another project. So, can you read and enjoy science fiction or do you see it now as work and you start taking apart parts of the story and figuring out how the author did that?

Jessie: I do a little bit of both but I still really enjoy science fiction. I love getting inspiration from what other authors are doing and, “Oh, wow, I hadn’t thought about how to build a world that way,” or, “That’s a really cool way of phrasing that,” so I take a lot of inspiration from what I read.

Bryan: Any particular science fiction books that stand out?

Jessie: Recently, actually, I read Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky.

Bryan: Okay. I’m taking notes because I’m always looking for new science fiction books and I’m going on holidays next week. Children of Time.

Jessie: Yeah, it was so good. It was so good.

Bryan: I’ll have to get that. Yeah, I read an excellent book during the lockdown called The Three-Body Problem. It was a great book.

Jessie: Oh, yeah. I haven’t read that yet but I’ve been meaning to. I’ll put it on my list. 

Bryan: Yeah. Apparently, Barack Obama said it was one of his most favorite books of the year. So — but, yeah, it was excellent science fiction. And when you’re — so you’re editing an anthology at the moment and do you find its editing — are you able to edit in the morning, like you were you were describing earlier on about creative work? Or do you keep that for the afternoon? And the reason I ask that is I find editing quite hard for me to do in the morning. I prefer editing later in the afternoon, for some reason.

Jessie: Yeah, I normally leave that until a little later. It’s a little bit more of the analytical brain whereas writing is so much more of that, maybe for me, I want to still be a little bit asleep and so you can still tap into that dream consciousness of being creative and free flowing ideas. But, with editing, I need to be very awake and paying attention to, “Okay, well, here’s — this didn’t make sense,” and, “How can we draw this theme out more?” and, “We’re missing a comma here,” and all that good stuff.

Bryan: So are you line editing or copyediting or editing the development and structure of the anthology?

Jessie: It’s mostly line editing. There has been a little bit where I’m like, “Oh, what if we just change this here?” or, “What if we put this here to kind of spice up the ending?” but, for the most part, it’s just been line and copyedits.

Bryan: One mistake I made was, well, when I was starting to write, was trying to get my sentences perfect when there were actually wider issues with the entire book so it would have been better getting the actual structure of the book correct and I wasted a lot of time trying to write these great sentences and then had to take them out. So what other mistakes do you — or what would you say to somebody who’s getting ready to get their first book to hand over to their editor?

Jessie: I think that’s a really good point of spending too much time trying to make perfect sentences when the whole structure maybe still may need some work on or — I think the biggest mistake I see newer writers do is holding on to a project too long and reworking it to death instead of just saying, “Okay, I finished the project, I learned the thing, let’s hand it off to the editor,” or, “You know what, maybe this was just a learning project and let’s write the next thing.” I know too many people who’ve been working on the same book for years and years and just get to the end of it, ship it, whether that means giving it to your editor or putting it in the closet for later, and then start the next thing. 

Bryan: Yeah, I mean unless you’re writing literary fiction, it’s far better to get your work in front of an editor or in front of readers, because then you can get feedback and you can improve whereas you could only learn so much by endlessly rewriting the manuscript in a coffee shop so that’s fantastic advice. So, Jessie, if somebody wants to learn more about you or read some of your books, where should they go?

Jessie: My website is the best place to find me. It’s 

Bryan: I’ll put the links in the show notes but thanks for your time, Jessie.

Jessie: Yeah, thank you so much. This was great.


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