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 We're Jeni Chappelle and Melissa Koberlein. We're on a mission to explore the world of publishing with some amazing women.

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Indie Chicks Season 3 podcast for websit

EPISODE 7, Season 4 - Author Self-Care

In episode 7, Melissa and Jeni talk to Elizabeth Rago about self-care for authors

To watch the video, click the image below:

Or listen to the audio podcast here: EPISODE 7 - Author Self-Care

Welcome to the Indie Chicks show! I’m Melissa Koberlein, an author and professor of publishing and she’s Jeni Chappelle, a freelance novel editor.

Indie Chicks celebrates and supports independent women in publishing. We’re a place for writers at all stages of the publishing process. So, whether you’re on the traditional route to publication or self-publishing, you’ve come to the right place for advice.

On this episode:

We’re talking about self-care for authors

End with an author tip of the week

This week we’re joined by Elizabeth Rago. Elizabeth is a syndicated columnist, freelance writer, author and mental health ambassador. After years of supporting women-owned businesses and ad agencies with lifestyle and luxury content, a series of unfortunate events happened in her life and Elizabeth felt compelled to shift her focus from home decor and DIYs to addressing the hard-hitting topics of being a woman in the world today with The Modern Domestic Woman.

Here's the Q&A

Elizabeth, I’m a huge fan of your early morning talks on Facebook. How did that come about?

I’ve been hesitant to do videos in general because I never have my shit together and showered to make a “pretty” video like all the other gorgeous lifestyle videos out there. Finally, I just said to hell with it and reasoned I look like I’ve rolled out of bed on most days, so why not do a quick morning chat like I’d be having an early morning coffee with my girlfriends?

What are the things you see professional women dealing with that are troublesome?

Woman on woman bullying is a big one. Jealousy in the workplace, which is so different now than it was 20 years ago. A workplace was a workplace then but now there is this imaginary workplace (the internet) where people are quick to judge and get nasty because everyone is behind their various devices.

Plus, I’ve really seen a rise in people saying their ideas have been stolen. Now, yes there is a definite problem when someone is lifting your copy verbatum. This obsession with people stealing your ideas brings about animosity and angst and an overall decrease in productivity. You have a voice and an idea - go for it! Your people will come and stay if they resonate with you and they’ll call BS on the people trying to copy you.

What are some self-care tips you recommend for authors? Things to avoid?

#1 - Get off your screens and get out into nature. Walk around your block, breathe fresh air.

#2 - Read other writer’s work!

#3 - Get yourself off your mind.

#4 - Make sure you’ve pooped before you sit down to write.

Things to avoid:

#1 - An overabundance of coffee and/or alcohol. Cake is better.

#2 - Avoid “forcing” yourself to write. Sure, we all have deadlines, but forcing it does not produce your best work.

What advice would you give to a writer just starting out?

#1 - Write every day, even if it’s only for 15 minutes. That’s how I started 14 years ago.

#2 - Ditch the word “aspiring” - you’re a writer - own it and be it.

#3 - Don’t think you’re going to land a big byline or writing gig with your first few pitches/queries. You most likely will not. I worked for free for several years, just for exposure, to get my name out there and establish a decent writing portfolio. I worked two jobs, sometimes three, to pay my bills and keep writing because I was so stubborn to prove everyone wrong that you can be a writer and make a living.

#4 - Specialize in something if you can.

#5 - Step outside what your dream writing job is and make baby steps to get there.

Tip of the week: Check out Scrivener’s word processing app. It’s a great tool for plotters, anyone who likes to outline, or those who like to write scenes out of order. It’s also great for writers who keep a lot of character notes such as fantasy and science fiction writers. Go to for more info.

On our next podcast, Jeni and Melissa are talking with Angela Ackerman about character development . We will also have another Tip of the Week.

And don’t forget where to find us! Find our podcast at or follow us on Spotify or subscribe to Indie Chicks on Apple Podcasts. We also have the Indie Chicks channel on YouTube where you can subscribe. You can follow us on Twitter @Indie_Chicks or

So, remember, we’re all part of a publishing community, be kind and review your fellow authors’ books! Thanks for joining us!

Indie Chicks out.

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