Jyssica Schwartz is a thirty-something writer, editor, and book coach living in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and a very fluffy cat. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and has always been a writer, even before she was getting paid. Jyssica is the author of 2017’s Write. Get Paid. Repeat. and 2018’s You Are Not Alone, and is both a self-published and traditionally published author.
She spent 10 years in corporate sales and business development before taking on clients on the side as a freelance writer in late 2016. Ninety days later, she quit her day job to pursue being a full-time writer and editor. Jyssica says building and refining her business has been both a challenge and an absolute joy.
Jyssica is often found curled up with a cat and a book, posting pictures of food and cats on Instagram, pithy notes on Twitter, watching food competition shows, or writing on her Medium blog when she probably should be working.
Jyssica loves music (especially singing!), traveling, rollercoasters, the Yankees, and the Offspring.
Ramona: Tell me more about your latest book
Jyssica: My third non-fiction book is called Concept to Conclusion: How to Write a Book. I am extremely proud of it and think it is some of my best work. It’s a tool, a step-by-step guide for teaching people how to write a creative non-fiction book. I go through everything from refining your idea and identifying your audience to creating outlines, how to make a writing schedule, breaking down how to write a chapter, and even how to find an editor, compare different publishing options, and market your book.
I even have quick references, more resources, and fun facts about writing and books throughout it! I’m so excited about this book, I know it will help people truly realize their dream of being a published author, and it was fun to write and put it all together.
Ramona: What was the most challenging aspect of writing this book?
Jyssica: I think the most challenging part of this book was in taking all of the information I’ve learned and turning it into a very organized, structured, useful book and give a lot of information in a way that makes sense and is easy to read and digest.
I’ve spent the last few years working one-on-one and in groups doing book coaching, and teaching people about the process of writing a book is so fun and interesting, so I really wanted that to show up on the page, too. I didn’t want to just write a boring textbook or try to sell people something in every chapter. And I am very proud of the book and how it all came together.
Ramona: Do you ever struggle with writer’s block? How do you overcome it?
Jyssica: I think every writer has come up against writer’s block at one point or another. For me, it’s usually more associated with my blog and what to write that day or coming up with new ideas.
For my books, I always have an outline of what the book will be before I start writing, so I know what needs to be in each chapter, examples I want to give, and what order everything will be in. So, when writing the book, I really don’t get writer’s block. Outlines are a fantastic tool for guarding against writer’s block in general, and also keep me focused and on track, so I finish writing books faster by having one.
Ramona: Before you start writing a book, what usually comes first, the plot or characters?
Jyssica: N/A – this is a non-fiction book
Ramona: What motivated you to become an author?
Jyssica: I spent 10 years in corporate business development and sales before starting my freelance writing and editing business in 2016. I was able to quit working at my 9 to 5 job and freelance full-time, and I absolutely love being a writer and editor.
When I sat down to write my first book, a big motivation was credibility. I had done some ghostwriting for other peoples’ books, but when you ghostwrite for books, you are usually under an NDA, so I didn’t have any examples to show potential clients. I knew I needed to write and publish my own book for credibility and as an example of my book writing ability.
With my second book, I put it together in the wake of the #metoo movement, and it was a passion project; a true labor of love. I wanted to give a voice to those who feel unseen and unheard, and I knew I had the ability and capacity to put together a book and be very respectful and raw with it, so I did. That book was picked up by a trade publisher, which has been awesome.
With this book, my third, this is where my current passion lies. I love working with authors and helping them put together a book and show them how writing a book isn’t impossible, it’s not an insurmountable obstacle – they can totally do it! There are so many contradictory and confusing articles and resources online that all say different things, so I wanted to write a book where it was a one-stop-shop, from writing to editing to publishing to marketing. Everything in one place, easy to understand, and very straightforward and honest.
Ramona: How many books have you written so far? List and name them all here
Jyssica: 3 books total.
Write. Get Paid. Repeat. The Guide to Being a Successful Freelance Writer
You Are Not Alone: True Stories of Sexual Assault, Abuse, & Harassment from Around the World
Concept to Conclusion: How to Write a Book
- Coming out 11/26/19
Ramona: What are some of your best practices as a writer?
Jyssica: As an author, it’s important to set aside specific time to write and then make it habit. Do it regularly and often, even when you aren’t sure what to write. It’s easier to fix bad writing than to start from a blank page every time, and you can always fix, change, or revise anything you’ve written. But you can’t just sit there staring at a blank page: You have to start writing.
It’s also super important to have an outline. An outline is the roadmap of your book and a good outline keeps you on track throughout the writing process, in addition to making sure you don’t leave out anything important or go off on a random tangent that doesn’t make sense in the middle of a chapter.
Having a good editor is also key. Make sure you trust your editor and that they understand your writing style and your message, and that they will be open with communication throughout the editing process. It’s so much easier to have a collaborative editor who is really working with you to keep your voice in your book.
Ramona: What is your advice for aspiring writers?
Jyssica: My best advice is to just start writing. You don’t have to be doing it full-time or even being paid. If you love to write, go start writing. Start a blog and get your words out into the world. It also helps you build an audience, gives you writing samples to send to potential clients, and gives you exposure, all things you want and need if you DO want to be a paid writer.
As an author – write down your ideas. Start an outline and put together a cohesive list of what you want to write about, then play with it to make it be in a good order. Think of the order of your book like a great conversation – it just flows naturally from one topic from the next and is easy to follow.
Visit Jyssica Schwartz book links:
- Write. Get Paid. Repeat. The Guide to Being a Successful Freelance Writer
- You Are Not Alone: True Stories of Sexual Assault, Abuse, & Harassment from Around the World
- Concept to Conclusion:
How to Write a Book
- Coming out 11/26/19
- My blog: medium.com/@jyssicaschwartz
- My website: https://jyssicaschwartz.com/
- Follow my Facebook author page here: https://www.facebook.com/jyssicaschwartz/
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