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Strategies for Authors and Other Entrepreneurs

Oct 17, 2019

No intro or outro today, as my newest iOS won't play with Audacity. I need to learn a new software for making podcasts! (Gasp!)

The main topic is all about Oh Shit lists and why they work.


 Hello Indie Authors! I'm Valerie Ihsan, and

This is Season Two, Episode 28 of the podcast and it's 10/16/2019 as I record this.

Main Topic: Action Steps

But first the personal update segment:

  • New job (more part time work to supplement my massage income, author services income, teaching, and book sales)
  • If you want to talk to me for a 30-minute interview and tell me what your challenges are and what you think can help you, you can book yourself a call at and choose the Interview Call option.
  • I'M READING: In fiction,  Tana French's book "In the Woods"; Non-fiction: Monica Leonelle's Prosperity for Writers
  • I planned for this to be a sabbatical week, but I didn't get my deadlines met before hand. (Sigh.)
  • Focus for October is getting ready for the 20Bksto50K conference in Las Vegas next month (mid-November). I wrote the welcome email sequence for my new lead magnet and brainstormed/mind-mapped the pages for my new website. This website will be for my signature Author Business Strategy Program called "Focus and Finish"--an author strategy program that includes a customized author action plan, as well as six months of coaching and accountability. The new website will also house the other author services I provide.
  • PATREON: I'd like to thank all my patrons for the podcast. I really appreciate your support. I'd like to hear from you, too. Feel free to comment on any of my posts in Patreon. Or, download the free Patreon app to make it even easier to send me a message. Shoot me a question or comment and I'll read it out on the podcast.
  •  I'd like to remind everybody else that this podcast is sponsored by my supporters at Patreon. For as low as a $1/mo, you can get a shout out on the podcast, a monthly connections video where I'm just myself and share something more personal than I put out on the podcast, and at other tiers, the benefits increase--free books, free editing, and free coaching. Become a patron of the arts, and of me! Find me at 


Resources: Monica's book, Prosperity for Writers

And now: Action Steps


Have you heard of the Oh Shit list?

I make them frequently.

Whenever I face a freak-out moment of overwhelm or fatigue, I make one.

And, I really think it's the most important step you can take to reach your goals and dreams.

Think about it, when you are upset about something (especially if you're mad about something), it's usually because you are faced with an unmet need. There is something in your life, some need you have, or some value you have to uphold to feel safe, that is lacking right now. 

Maybe it's only temporary. But maybe it's been going on for a long time. Maybe you've been wading through a pool of auto-pilot and you're only now noticing that something's not quite right. Or maybe you know what's off and it's untenable, but you don't know what to do about it.

By writing down what's bothering you, several things happen. One, you slow your brain down long enough to physically write the words on a piece of paper, and that's helping you breathe, but it's also helping you see some of the parts of the problem. It's allowing you to re-organize your thoughts and beliefs about what's bothering you. Maybe you start to write something and realize, "No, what's really going on, or what's really bothering me about this is xxx." Often, we can't get to that place unless we write it down.

Two, it's out of your head. You aren't forced to hold it there anymore. This is particularly helpful if what is bothering you is a slew of tasks that have to be done before that conference next month.

Three, sometimes it allows you (or someone else you've trusted with the list) to see that some of the things on that list are actually not that important. Or rather, it's not important that you do them. Maybe someone else can. Or maybe you decide to postpone it until next quarter, or next year. Or, maybe you decide it's not where your priorities lie anymore, and you can cross it off your list.

So, what if you aren't a list maker, list lover, like me?

Why don't you have someone else make the list for you?



Get together with a business colleague or a close friend, one that will understand your need to get things straight--if not in your head, then on paper. Make an appointment with them to talk. You talk, they write. Tell them all the things that are stressing you out, overwhelming you, maybe even alarming you. ("Maybe I'm closer to burnout than I thought?") They can take notes for you. Make that list for you. Or, if not a list, then themes that they've noticed about the types of things you were talking about.

If you don't have that person in your life, feel free to schedule yourself one of those free interview calls. I'll take notes for you.


And remember. Always add in time for self-care. It's a crazy exhausting world out there. Take that time to re-center and ground yourself. You deserve it.


Thanks for listening. If you are finding this podcast episodes helpful please consider subscribing to the podcast, telling someone else about it, or becoming a patron today.


Until next time!