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About the Episode

Author Rachel Trusty shares her journey of opting for a career in writing over the traditional college and career experience. We explore the array of decisions required in the world of self-publishing and the journey of growth as a writer and business owner. 

Topics covered in this episode:

  • Self-publishing Novels
  • Choosing Writing Over Conventional Life Paths
  • Balancing Earning Income while Building Your Writing Career
  • Writing in Multiple Genres
  • Writing Through Challenges
  • Pros and Cons of Traditional Publishing vs. Self Publishing
  • Learning from Disappointments

GET RACHEL’S BOOK ✅CLICK HERE👉 https://amzn.to/44FTl2u 

About My Guest

Rachel was first inspired to write living among the sunshine and mountains of east Tennessee. She loves learning about different cultures, trying new recipes, taking long road trips, and meeting new people. She has lived in the eastern and western United States, and loves desert sunsets more than anything else. Rachel spent the last two years as a live-in nanny, but is now working full-time as an author, and absolutely loves it! You can find Rachel’s work on Amazon, and connect with her on Instagram @ByRachelTrusty

Grab Rachel’s book



Click for Transcript

Rachel T.: [00:00:00] But I’m also a business owner. And I’m gonna have successes and failures. And a success was that I got to speak there. A failure was that maybe it didn’t really do anything that I can see yet. The discomfort brings up questions like you were just asking like, oh, what could I have done? Or what would make a difference?


Rachel F.: Well, welcome back to the Business of Christian Fiction podcast. I am here with my friend Rachel Trusty, and I’m excited to talk to her about her fiction books that she’s published and her journey as, um, as a writer having to kind of take on that business mindset. Um, this is your full-time gig, right? Like you are a writer.

Rachel T.: Yes it is.

Rachel F.: Full, full stop, right?

Rachel T.: Yeah.

Rachel F.: And I’m excited to talk to you about this because you’re young, you have chosen this route, and I think it’s a very courageous route to say like, no, this is what I wanna do. And I might have to make some sacrifices or make some adjustments, um, to not, you know, and [00:01:00] it might not look like all of my peers, but that’s okay because this is what I feel called to do.

And so I’m excited to kind of talk a little bit about that along with, um, just our normal conversations about how have you, you know, learned to navigate this business world of publishing. And so, um, thank you so much for being on the podcast today.

Rachel T.: Well, thank you for having me.

Rachel F.: Why don’t we just start with. If you wanna just kind of clue the reader in a little bit about your journey, how you got to where you’re at, maybe tell us your book that you’ve published. I know you have a couple under your belt and what’s coming up for you. Um, why don’t we just start there?

Rachel T.: Alright. So like you’re saying, I, I did get started pretty young and it’s kind of funny because growing up I really hated writing like, It was awful. I did not write anything at all.

Rachel F.: That’s so funny. That’s normally not what writers say.

Rachel T.: I know. I was kind of a rebellious kid actually, when it came to anything that I thought was like academic.

Rachel F.: Mm-hmm.

Rachel T.: And I did not [00:02:00] wanna put my pencil to paper for any subject or anything at all. I was just, I wanted to run around and play pretend.

Rachel F.: Yeah.

Rachel T.: And that works out because I write fiction.

Rachel F.: True.

Rachel T.: It was like I will not do what you tell me to do. So,

Rachel F.: So instead you decided to make up stories in your head and

Rachel T.: Yes. Yeah, so I was just, you know, imaginative. And then I, um, I was homeschooled and so my senior year my mom was like, um, I really think you should take this writing, this essay writing class. And she was like, I think it’ll like build confidence in your writing.

And I was like, I don’t need confidence. I hate it. I’m horrible at it. I also struggle with like flipping letters. Even still, I just, I flip letters around and misspell things and write things backwards and it’s just, it’s, it [00:03:00] irritated me when I was younger.

Rachel F.: Mm-hmm.

Rachel T.: And, but she was like, I think you should do it. And so I did it, and I did really well in the class. It was like, cre, what is that? I don’t even know what it’s called now. It’s like creative essay. It wasn’t like,

Rachel F.: Okay

Rachel T.: the college essay. It was something a little more fun than that.

Rachel F.: Yeah.

Rachel T.: And it was like, oh, it’s like I just realized I could fill a piece of paper like before that I avoided filling a piece of paper.

And then I was just like, oh, I actually can do that.

Rachel F.: Mm.

Rachel T.: And she was right. My mom was right. The confidence was what was lacking, I guess. And I was like, oh, so I can fill a piece of paper. So halfway through that class, it was a six week course and um, it was the day I got back my grade on the first paper I started writing my first book.

Rachel F.: Okay.

Rachel T.: I [00:04:00] was just like, this is so fun. I get to use my imagination. I get to write it down. And so that’s actually, that’s actually my first book, my first published one is that book that I started writing that day in my senior year. And so I have that book published and the sequel to that one, and then two others.

Rachel F.: Okay. And so what are those called?

Rachel T.: Um, the first one is Becoming Sencra’s Queen and Sencra is a made up place, in Spain. Um, and then Sencra’s Fate, it’s a sequel to that one. And then the next one that I published was Lilly, which is historical fiction. And it has lots of adventure and

Rachel F.: Right.

Rachel T.: Yeah. Um, and then the last one I published was in 2021. So it’s been a little while now. Um, And that is Not Without Yesterday.

Rachel F.: Okay.

Rachel T.: Which was a super interesting one to write. I just read it for the first time this week, the first time after [00:05:00] publishing, and I was like, this book is so serious. I really enjoyed it. So that was good. Because normally I’m like afraid to read my books later.

Rachel F.: Yeah. So what, what genre was that?

Rachel T.: The last one?

Rachel F.: Mm-hmm.

Rachel T.: You know, I hate saying I, I just hate trying to say what genre it is, which I know is horrible for marketing. But, um,

Rachel F.: Spoken like a true creative. It’s like you’re, you don’t wanna pigeon hole because like for, this is a thing that a lot of people forget. Or not a lot of people forget. But as creatives, we, we write the story, right?

Rachel T.: Yeah.

Rachel F.: We’re not trying to write a genre for the most part. We’re like, we get this idea, and you’re like, oh, this is the story and this is the world surrounding that story.

And sometimes that’s like a fantasy world and sometimes that’s the real world and sometimes that’s a historical world. And it just, it’s hard to say like this is a specific genre [00:06:00] sometimes because sometimes it feels like it doesn’t really fit into a certain genre.

Rachel T.: Yeah.

Rachel F.: And so, yeah, it does make it hard to market because marketing is very much based on clarity. And, and like, if you like this, then you’ll like this. And so like genres give the buyer a clarity.

Rachel T.: Yeah.

Rachel F.: That you, the writer don’t necessarily have when you’re crafting the story. So it’s a very weird tension that we have to sit in as between writer and business owner.

Rachel T.: Mm-hmm.

Rachel F.: So, but if you were to venture a guess, what genre would you say that is?

Rachel T.: I usually say literary fiction.

Rachel F.: Okay.

Rachel T.: For most of my books. Even if it’s like historical fiction or whatever. I say literary because I always, my books are based off of a character first.

Rachel F.: Hmm.

Rachel T.: So that’s really what motivates the story. And then this last one, I wasn’t even sure if the genre was like fully defined for people. But I have looked into it and it looks like it is. So I say trauma fiction.

Rachel F.: I didn’t realize that, that that had be, [00:07:00] which makes sense that it’s becoming more of a, a genre.

Rachel T.: Yeah. Yeah, I think so. And I think it’s like a useful genre too. So,

Rachel F.: Agreed.

Rachel T.: It had some serious topics and it, I wrote it during some recovery from PTSD and it was just really, it used all of those emotions and so it made sense for that to be the


Rachel F.: Yeah. So, are you working on anything in particular right now? You said it’s been a little bit since you last published, so…

Rachel T.: Yes.

Rachel F.: What are you working on?

Rachel T.: I, I’m anxious to kind of get projects wrapping up here. Um, I was working on, and it’s kind of interesting. I decided after, um, the last book, which was really serious and just some struggles I was going through, I was mostly reading rom-coms.

Rachel F.: Mm.

Rachel T.: And I was like, I wanna write, but I don’t wanna think of anything serious. And a lot of my writing has been [00:08:00] topics that are just more, a little heavier.

Rachel F.: Mm-hmm.

Rachel T.: A little more serious. And I was like, I wanna try a romcom.

Rachel F.: Okay.

Rachel T.: And so I, I wrote a romcom.

Rachel F.: Okay.

Rachel T.: And have not published it. And I was, I’ve been working on it and I edited it a couple of different times. And I just, it was just not clicking.

Rachel F.: Hmm.

Rachel T.: And I’m not sure why still, I’m still trying to work it all out. But, um, last month I was like, okay, I, that’s not clicking for me. And so I am going to write something else for a little while.

Rachel F.: Okay.

Rachel T.: And so I just started writing a story last month. It’s still very new. I’m just rough draft. You know, I write everything by hand first.

Rachel F.: Okay.

Rachel T.: So that’s what I’m doing right now. And that is young adult. That that’s a definite genre.

Rachel F.: Okay. Well that’s interesting. I love that you are open, like you’re open as a writer to [00:09:00] follow kind of, okay, this is what I would like to do, but this is not working. So let’s pivot a little bit and you’re not pigeonholing yourself into that.

Rachel T.: Yeah. And I realize that I am young and very new to everything. So I am, you know, like I’m open to not being, maybe that’s not the genre that I’ll ever be good at writing.

Rachel F.: Mm. But you know, it’s fun to still write it . I think that brings up a really good point about the difference between writing something for yourself and writing something for a reader. Because like you said, you’re like, oh, I wanna write something that’s just fun and I’m gonna explore that. But at some point you’re like, ah, this is not clicking.

This has been fun for me, but it’s not gonna click for a reader. And so you have to be able to evaluate the product that you’re crafting and say like, is this just something for me, as a writer, having fun, or is this something that I’m going turn to turn into a product that goes out into the world?

Rachel T.: Yeah.

Rachel F.: And has marketing behind it and has, you know, promotion behind it. [00:10:00] And so I think sometimes writers forget that step. They forget to like pull back the lens and say, okay, this might’ve been just for me. And I have books like that. Like my very first novel,

Rachel T.: Definitely

Rachel F.: very long. Historical fiction. Written in ancient Rome. Set in ancient Rome.

Rachel T.: Ohhhh.

Rachel F.: And I love the story to this day. Love it, love it, love it. That book will probably never see past my computer. Right. Like it’s something that I loved as like it means a lot to me.

Rachel T.: Mm-hmm.

Rachel F.: And it means a lot. Um. It means a lot to me as a writer. It’s my, you know, my very first novel that I actually completed.

Rachel T.: Yeah.

Rachel F.: But I’ve looked back on it and I’m like, it, I would have to do a pretty major rewrite first of all. I’ve learned a lot since then. I mean, I was 16 when I wrote it. But, I have not felt that it would benefit my reader.

Rachel T.: Mm-hmm.

Rachel F.: So far. But maybe in the future it would, if I could [00:11:00] wrestle with how much would it have to pivot or adjust or be revised in order to make that crossing over that line between like, this was a fun thing for me or this is actually beneficial to my reader.

So there is a line there and you kinda have to learn how to, to navigate that.

Rachel T.: Yeah, I love that. Like it’s a benefit. Yeah. I just never, I think about that a little bit, but just not quite in those words. Like that’s value. Yeah, like whatever value, but it’s value to me. Value to someone else. It’s different.

Rachel F.: Mm-hmm. And I think we have to remember that as readers that not everything we write is for somebody else.

Rachel T.: Yeah.

Rachel F.: And that’s okay. It’s not a waste of time, or of energy. Because it, we, as writers, that’s how we process the world a lot and we, it’s how we practice our craft. So like, you know, like we have to write

Rachel T.: Yeah.

Rachel F.: In order to get better at it.

Rachel T.: Definitely.

So for you as this writer who crafted something very like, became a lover of writing [00:12:00] kinda later in your childhood.


Rachel F.: You’re still not that late, but you know, later on.

Rachel T.: Yeah.

Rachel F.: Um, how did you get to the point where you’re like, okay, I’m not, this is the thing I wanna do full time. This is where I, I wanna put my time and energy. How did you kind of come to that point where you’re like, okay, this is what I’m doing?

Rachel T.: Yeah, so, um, when I was, that was during my senior year that I did that class and wrote my first book. And I published it, it actually came out the week after I graduated. And so…

Rachel F.: From high school or from college?

Rachel T.: From high school.

Rachel F.: Okay.

Rachel T.: From high school.

Rachel F.: High school. Um, so how did you decide to, you self-published it right?

Rachel T.: Yeah.

Rachel F.: Did you think about going traditional or were you like, nope, I’m just gonna go self-publishing route?

Rachel T.: You know, I, you know how I talked about being that rebellious kid who wouldn’t do things that other people told me.

Rachel F.: Yeah.

Rachel T.: So I’m still that rebellious kid and, uh, yeah, I just love the [00:13:00] control that I have and it’s, it’s just fun for me. To look at every part of it and decide. And I love, obviously I have an editor, I get readers, beta readers, all sorts of help. Um, but I love just being the one who makes the decisions.

Rachel F.: Mm-hmm.

Rachel T.: And I’m like, and I’ve thought sometimes, oh, maybe like some books are better if other people make the decisions for them. But you know, that just was what felt right.

Rachel F.: Yeah. Here’s the thing, like you are hiring people to help you make better decisions.

Rachel T.: Yeah.

Rachel F.: You have an editor, you have other people speaking into it with beta readers and things like that. So it’s not creating in a vacuum.

Rachel T.: Right.

Rachel F.: It’s creating with a team. It’s just that team looks different than a traditional publisher might look like.

Rachel T.: Yes.

Rachel F.: Yeah. So you

Rachel T.: And I kind of like it. I like choosing my team because it’s like people that I,

Rachel F.: Yeah

Rachel T.: trust and judge their work, and if I don’t like it, then [00:14:00] I don’t have to use that. And

Rachel F.: You could fire them. I think people kind of forget that. Like, if you don’t like your editor and you’re self-publishing, you can fire them. Right. You can’t do that in a publishing contract. You don’t get to say that.

Rachel T.: No. Yeah. That’s crazy to me. That I’m just like, nah, I, I need to choose myself…,

Rachel F.: Yeah. So you, you graduated from high school, you published this first novel, and then what happened?

Rachel T.: So I, um, my plan was to go to college then.

Rachel F.: Mm-hmm.

Rachel T.: I’ve always had an interest in geography and cultures and international, um, development. That was what I wanted to go into. And I, my plan was to go to college. So I applied. Um, it was a school, it’s across the country from me. So I was gonna go, I was gonna move across the country. And, um, I had enrolled in classes and I ordered my [00:15:00] books and I was about to sign a contract for an apartment and I was just so excited. And, which is kind of funny also ’cause academics is, it still wasn’t my, you know, ,

Rachel F.: Your first love.

Rachel T.: No. So I was like, oh, I’m going to college. And Yeah.

Rachel F.: Yeah.

Rachel T.: Um, but I just thought it was what I was gonna do. And then one day my mom and I don’t remember this specific moment, and I’m like, maybe my mom made this up. But she’s been smart in the past, so…

Rachel F.: Yeah.

Rachel T.: But she was like, you know, you don’t have to if you don’t want to, like go to college. And I was like, she said that I just like started crying. I don’t remember the crying part. But I remember deciding like, oh yeah, that’s true.

Rachel F.: Yeah.

Rachel T.: And I really don’t wanna go to college. And I don’t know, it just wasn’t at the time. I was like, oh, I, I just really don’t.

Rachel F.: So you were just kind of moving through the motions of, this is what I’m supposed [00:16:00] to do next with my life.

Rachel T.: Yeah.

Rachel F.: And so,

Rachel T.: Yeah. And it made sense.

Rachel F.: Yeah.

Rachel T.: I liked the, there was a plan. I didn’t wanna have to make some other life decisions that I don’t know.

Rachel F.: Yeah.

Rachel T.: It just felt like, oh, if I go to college, there’s a plan for what classes to take to get this degree.

Rachel F.: Mm-hmm.

Rachel T.: And I’ll be here during these months. And it just felt like I didn’t have to make a decision.

Rachel F.: Yeah.

Rachel T.: Which is, you know, I was 18, turning 19 and who wants to be a grown up?

Rachel F.: Yeah.

Rachel T.: So I, uh, yeah, I decided not to. And then I started writing full time. ‘Cause I was like, well I really love this. And I continued to write after publishing that first book. And I was like, well, I really love this. So I started doing it full time. And then, I actually became a nanny for a couple of years. So I stopped writing pretty much.

Rachel F.: Mm-hmm.

Rachel T.: Almost completely. [00:17:00] Um, and I was a nanny for two years actually living across the country, like an hour away from the college I was gonna go to.

Rachel F.: Oh, that’s very ironic.

Rachel T.: Yeah, it was. But I loved the area. It was super fun. And I was there for two years. And I realized that I loved kids also during that, um, two years. So that, that was really great for me.

But, um, then I got super sick and I had to move home ’cause I just, I couldn’t take care of myself physically.

Rachel F.: Mm-hmm.

Rachel T.: And so I moved home and I was like, well, I, I, I literally couldn’t do anything. I was just, it was this crazy health thing and I was very weak and I couldn’t go out of the house really. And so I was like, well, I can write.

Rachel F.: Yeah.

Rachel T.: So that was really, I’m like writing kind of just like saved my mental health during all of that. And that’s where I wrote Not [00:18:00] Without Yesterday. With all those emotions that I was having. Um, But I also published Lilly during that of just being really sick. And it was interesting because I was like, I was super sick and full time during that was not, like I was not working 40 hour work weeks. It was nothing like that. I was, you know, working 45 minutes at a time. And that was a stretch. And then I would take a break and yeah, it was just, it was a crazy, crazy way to publish. And I was, Yeah, it was a lot going on. And I think, I don’t even remember a lot of what was written in those two books.

Yeah, I’m, I’m, I actually don’t know. I don’t remember publishing one of them because part of the health stuff was also like memory issues. And so I am like, yeah, that was very interesting, um, to be publishing under those circumstances and a time when I didn’t feel like I could rely on [00:19:00] my brain. And there was a lot of stuff going on in my head, but I was able to publish and write and do all of that during that.

So I think that’s when I really like it, really set in that I was like, this is something that I wanna do forever. Like,

Rachel F.: Mmm. Yeah.

Rachel T.: Even during this time, first of all, it was helping me to be able to stay sane.

Rachel F.: Right.

Rachel T.: Um, but it was also something that I was able to do and able to do well. , A lot of people have read my books and those books that I published during that time. And I’ve done book clubs and they’ve told me how it impacted them. And I was like, I wrote those words while I was just suffering so badly.

Rachel F.: Mm-hmm.

Rachel T.: And so it was like, oh, I can do this. Like,

Rachel F.: I wonder if there’s a part of me that wonders, like if you, um, because you were suffering, if a level of perfectionism kind of diminishes. You know what I mean?

Rachel T.: Yeah.

Rachel F.: Like there’s a little bit less of [00:20:00] a, um, you’re a little bit less hard on yourself and it just more willing to let creativity come forward and not be judgmental of it. Because you don’t have time to be judgmental when you’re suffering.

Right. Like when you’re dealing with, when you’re chronically ill or chronically, like just having a hard time, you’re like, okay, I’m just gonna write what’s on the page and it’s gonna get out today. And I’m not gonna go back and analyze it and pull it apart because I can’t live like that. I have to just keep moving forward.

Rachel T.: Yeah. And the, it’s funny that you mentioned that. ‘Cause I’m, I’m like the opposite of a perfectionist.

Rachel F.: Oh really?

Rachel T.: And that’s part of the rebellious thing is if something like. If someone says, oh, that needs to be a certain way, I’m like, does it? Uh no….

Rachel F.: Yeah.

Rachel T.: Um, but yeah, I think that is true because before I’d wanna read through everything and have my editor tell me everything. But during that, there were definitely, there were pages where it’s like hard for me to read what was on that page.

Rachel F.: Mm-hmm.

Rachel T.: And I’d just be like, [00:21:00] tell my editor, you do whatever you want with it.

Rachel F.: You just make it look good.

Rachel T.: Yeah. And that was where I was really thankful for a team that I trusted.

Rachel F.: Right?

Rachel T.: Because I was like, I could tell my editor, Hey, you take care of that page. I can’t read it. And I trust you completely with that.

Rachel F.: Hmm.

Rachel T.: I didn’t have to read it. And I still haven’t read it.

Rachel F.: That’s funny.

Rachel T.: Yeah.

Rachel F.: So I would love to kind of dive a little bit more into like the business decisions that you’ve made so far and maybe even what you’re gonna do in the future. But, um, for these books that you’ve published and you have, are making it your full-time thing. And I know you have the stint of a nanny in there, but, um, are you generating enough income off of your books right now that like, supports your life or are you still having to kind of supplement it with other things at this point?

Rachel T.: Yeah, so. I am not able to support myself with my income from just the books right now. Um, and I think that’s part of, for me, that’s, [00:22:00] it’s kind of interesting because a lot of people my age, you said like, I chose this, which looks a lot of different than

Rachel F.: Right.

Rachel T.: people my age. And it’s interesting because people will be like, oh, uh, you’re not going to school?

Rachel F.: Mm-hmm.

Rachel T.: And how can you support yourself? I get, I’ve had that question so many times about supporting myself. And I’m like, I am, I’m 24 years old. I, I was like, I’m 24 years old.

Rachel F.: Right.

Rachel T.: And also I had this huge health thing where no one would be able to work during that.

Rachel F.: Right.

Rachel T.: Um, and that was three years long. And I was like, this is like, if, so if I went to college

Rachel F.: Mm-hmm.

Rachel T.: This is kind of like my, uh, college, I tell them.

Rachel F.: Right?

Rachel T.: ‘Cause I’m like, you spend money on getting your degree. And you have training and like years of practicing learning. And that’s where I feel like I am.

I feel like probably by now I’m more in a, a [00:23:00] graduate,

Rachel F.: Right.

Rachel T.: I’m, I’m transitioning from undergrad to graduate level. Mm-hmm. But it’s still something where I invest and it’s not something where I am making a living and I’m all cozy.

Rachel F.: Right.

Rachel T.: I’m in that stage of I’m learning and growing. And even though I’m publishing these books aren’t the best they could be if I were

Rachel F.: Right

Rachel T.: 10 years older and had learned everything. But I’m also not gonna learn everything if I’m not publishing and working on it.

Rachel F.: True.

Rachel T.: So that’s what I tell people. I’m like, this is my graduate school.

Rachel F.: Mm-hmm.

Rachel T.: I’m, I’m not making a living. I am also, I have another job that I’m starting right now, actually.

Rachel F.: Yeah.

Rachel T.: And I’m gonna work in an ice cream shop for who knows how long. Um, but yeah, it’s kind of interesting because that’s, that’s where I’m at. I’m in school still.

Rachel F.: Yeah. I love that you’re approaching it that way because here’s the thing, I think a lot of people might who want to do what we do, write stories. Especially fiction writers.

Rachel T.: Yeah.

Rachel F.: [00:24:00] Right. We think we have to go to college and get an MFA.

Rachel T.: Mm-hmm.

Rachel F.: To be really good at our craft. And while yes, you do really well at your craft when you go through all that writing, because you’re constantly practicing the writing.

Rachel T.: Yes.

Rachel F.: And you’re getting feedback on the writing. The thing is, it doesn’t teach you how to be a professional writer.

Rachel T.: Yeah.

Rachel F.: You will learn how to write, but you won’t learn how to publish.

Rachel T.: Yeah.

Rachel F.: You won’t learn how to the business side of everything that we do. And so what you’re saying is like your schooling is essentially both.

Rachel T.: Mm-hmm.

Rachel F.: You’re learning how to write better and you’re learning how to be a published author and you’re doing that by trial and error and like essentially it’s almost like an apprenticeship. You’re taking in information and you’re practicing it in real life. And um, I think that’s a really interesting model and I kind of wish more writers would do it.

Rachel T.: Yes!

Rachel F.: But I know it’s hard. It’s a hard decision to make and it’s not one that you can make lightly. Um,

Rachel T.: It doesn’t [00:25:00] feel as clear.

Rachel F.: It doesn’t.

Rachel T.: Like there’s no certain path for this.

Rachel F.: Mm-hmm.

Rachel T.: And it’s not like I take this class and this class and then someone hands me a degree. Not hands you. It’s hard work.

Rachel F.: Yeah, right,

Rachel T.: I do this and then I get this.

Rachel F.: Mm-hmm.

Rachel T.: It’s, it feels more unknown. But I do believe that if you’re doing the work and you’re investing, like you would in getting a degree then,

Rachel F.: Right.

Rachel T.: It will pay off.

Rachel F.: When you’re talking about investing, what are some of the things that you’re choosing to invest in?

Rachel T.: Yeah, so, first of all, my time. Um, I think that’s a big one that I’ve thought about lately is just balancing, ’cause I need to make money and

Rachel F.: Mm-hmm.

Rachel T.: I htink it’s the same thing that all people in school or whatever just have to deal with

Rachel F.: Yep.

Rachel T.: Um, investing the time and then the money. Um, you know, you gotta hire a team. And in my case, I have lots of people in my [00:26:00] family that I know that are actually in the business and things like that, so I don’t actually have to spend as much as other people.

Rachel F.: Mm-hmm.

Rachel T.: In order to get a book out.

Rachel F.: Right.

Rachel T.: Um, and I also have photography and some design experience. So I actually do my own covers. Which is part of what I love. I love that control and that creativity. So that’s something that I enjoy doing myself. Which I would not do if I did not have those skills already.

Rachel F.: Right, right.

Rachel T.: Um, but then just taking learning, um, I like learning from books more than I like learning from classes. And so a lot of times I use books and I just read them over and over again. Books from writers about how to write. I have a favorite, um, Someday You’ll Write.

Rachel F.: Oh, that’s a new one. I haven’t heard that one before.

Rachel T.: Yeah. Well, it’s not new. It’s pretty old, I think. When is it? It’s by Elizabeth [00:27:00] Yates. Which she write a book

Rachel F.: oh,

Rachel T.: I really liked as a kid. Um, 1962.

Rachel F.: Yeah.

Rachel T.: So yeah, I love this one. And it’s just really, I think she’s kind of talking to like almost children. Um, or just new writers in general. But it’s really simplified and it’s secrets of a story maker.

Rachel F.: Mm-hmm.

Rachel T.: And she was an author and I just love what, how she puts everything. And it talks about like the tools of being a writer and the tool of being observant or things like that that just are at your disposal.

Rachel F.: Right?

Rachel T.: So that is one of my favorites. So I just read books like that over and over again and at different times of publishing and things like that.

Rachel F.: Do you read books that have to do with business at all?

Rachel T.: I have.

Rachel F.: Probably not your favorite, right?

Rachel T.: They’re not, they feel [00:28:00] academic.

Rachel F.: Yes. Spoken like a true creative right there.

Rachel T.: Um, so what I do for the business side of it is that I follow, um, and I have this, this one girl who, she starts, she’s close to my age and she has started multiple businesses, multiple six figure businesses. And she’s very relatable. And

Rachel F.: What’s her name?

Rachel T.: It’s Evie Rupp Yes. She has a very fun personality.

Rachel F.: Evie, what is it?

Rachel T.: Rupp. So it’s E V I E R U P P.

Rachel F.: Okay.

Rachel T.: And she is a business coach. Um, and she’s also a photographer. And she has something called the Heart University. It’s in her Instagram bio. But that is my favorite way of [00:29:00] getting information, um, for the business side. Is just in smaller snippets like that. Because that’s how I learn best for that type of stuff.

Rachel F.: I think you bring up something really valuable here is that we don’t always have to go to books or courses to get the information we need. Now, sometimes you might have to go for a specific aspect. But when we’re just talking about like mindset and big picture principles, like just following somebody that’s creating short content for us to consume, like there’s nothing wrong with that. We should be feeling okay about following. And there’s a couple of business, um, coaches out there that I follow that like every day I am watching their Instagram to see what they’re sharing.

And even today I learned something from somebody. And I’m just like, it’s just, it is a very quick way to feel like you’re, you know, ingesting the information you need, um, without having to spend a ton of time in front of something. And then as you’re learning these things and it opens up these new doors, you can say, oh, I wanna learn more about this. And then you go and, and learn more [00:30:00] about that one thing.

Rachel T.: Yes. And that’s mainly what I do. And also actually yours. And then yours is a big one that I do too.

Rachel F.: Thank you. Appreciate that.

Rachel T.: Yes. And I appreciate all of your posts. It, they’re just so easy to understand. And I feel like with hers and yours, I feel like it’s just stuff that I’m like, oh, so I could like take this little step today.

Rachel F.: Mm-hmm.

Rachel T.: That’s really important to me. Because, I don’t know, maybe it’s a short attention span. I’m not sure what it is, but I’m just, if it feels like I can do that little thing today, Uhhuh, then I’ll start moving forward.

Rachel F.: Exactly.

Rachel T.: Instead of I have to read this whole book to understand this thing. And maybe I do with some stuff.

Rachel F.: Mm-hmm.

Rachel T.: But a lot of things I’m just like, if I have to do that, that’s gonna bog me down.

Rachel F.: Mm-hmm.

Rachel T.: And I won’t be excited about it. And that won’t be, I don’t know how to say this, but it won’t be the feel of my business that I want

Rachel F.: [00:31:00] Because you’re trying to put that apprenticeship model into place. They are watching the person who has the knowledge. They’re watching them in action. That person may tell them a small thing for them to do, and they turn around and do it, right?

So it’s, it’s like you’re taking that model and you’re just applying it to your every day, and you’re saying, okay, I know that I want to build a business where I’m writing books and I’m selling them, and I’m making a living off of doing that. But in the here and now I know I’m not there and I’m gonna just watch the people who are further along than me, learn from what they’re saying and apply it immediately. Because then I can make small progress towards my big picture goal.

And I think we all could do from, from that mindset of like, we don’t have to know everything all at once. We can practice and learn as we’re practicing and grow, as we’re practicing. And just beginning in the small things and making progress towards the big thing. And so I think there’s a really smart way to go about doing it. I [00:32:00] don’t, I,

Rachel T.: Oh, I’m glad.

Rachel F.: I think there’s a lot of wisdom in that. I really do.

Um, as we begin to wrap up, a couple things have come out of our conversation so far, and I, and I think they’re really gonna be, be beneficial to the reader, but or to the listener rather. Um, just the idea that you are suggesting that we start small. Start. Keep making progress forward. Not being afraid of doing something that feels a little bit outside the norm. Doing the thing that not everybody else is doing, but just being okay with that and okay, that this is our particular calling or this is what my life at this stage needs to look like.

And not feeling like you have to have it perfectly big right now. Like you,

Rachel T.: Yes, I think that’s hard. Especially right now. I don’t know why, but I feel like. I mean, the people you see mainly are the people with bigger followings or whatever, and that’s why you’re seeing them.

Rachel F.: Yep.

Rachel T.: But I feel like that is hard right now. ’cause you can, it’s easy to feel embarrassed.

Rachel F.: Mmmm.

Rachel T.: Like, [00:33:00] oh, I have 500 followers and I have like 2000 posts on Instagram. And it’s just like, oh, is that embarrassing or

Rachel F.: mm-hmm.

Rachel T.: You know, I try to ignore it mainly is is what I mainly do. Yeah. I’m like,

Rachel F.: it’s hard. You’re right. I like that you said that. That it can feel embarrassing. Because it can feel embarrassing when we’re like, we know what works because all these people are telling us this works. And we know this is what we are supposed to be doing, but it’s not moving along as fast as they all say it should. And how, where do you go from there? Like what, how do you take that? How do you run with it and navigate it?

And so I guess as we begin to wrap up, my question to you would be, what would be your advice to that writer that’s in the beginning stages like you are? Who is trying to do the thing that looks different than all of her peers? Who is wrestling with this like, this is where I know I want to end up, but I know I’m not there yet and I have to make that progress towards it. What advice would you give to her?[00:34:00]

Rachel T.: I feel like this is gonna sound cliche or something like that, but the first thing that comes to mind is just don’t take yourself too seriously. And it’s, it’s okay to be like, starting out. And starting out doesn’t mean that like, I’ve been doing this two months.

Rachel F.: Right.

Rachel T.: Um, I, myself, I saw someone on Instagram the other day. She had her account, she started a year ago. And I didn’t realize, I’ve been following her for maybe a couple of months. And she’s super fun. She talks about books and, um, she is, I think she’s graduating from high school this year and, and she has like, I don’t know, 50,000 followers, 100,000. She has some big number of followers. And then this week she put on there one year on Bookstagram. And I was like, what? One year? Like, am I saying something wrong? Am I not saying something right? And even [00:35:00] though I think as a new writer or someone who’s new to all this, still, I think sometimes like, oh, if I were to like do this thing right then this result that I want or that I’m seeing in other people would happen.

And it could, but I think just not making everything depend on something.

Rachel F.: Mm-hmm.

Rachel T.: It’s, it’s easy to do that. I spoke at a writer’s conference last April and I was like, oh, this is gonna be like so big for me. Like this is gonna be huge. And it was incredible. And I had no idea why I was a speaker there.

Everyone else was, you know, 30 years older than me and had a million times more experience and like success. And I was like, this is crazy and this is gonna be huge for me. And it was funny because you could take books to sell in the little bookstore area.

Rachel F.: Mm-hmm.

Rachel T.: Everyone loved my [00:36:00] classes, but I sold zero books. And I think I maybe gained two followers.

Rachel F.: Yeah.

Rachel T.: And I was like, okay, that’s interesting. And it, it just made me feel some things. And I was like, that is very interesting. So I think the main thing for me and that I would tell someone is just look at what you’re feeling and be like, that’s interesting. Just observe it a little bit.

Rachel F.: Mmmm

Rachel T.: And don’t think, oh, I have to take that so seriously.

Rachel F.: Mm-hmm.

Rachel T.: It is a business as well as being creative, it’s also a business. And I think if you’re like so devastated, because it feels a certain way or something. You don’t have to be devastated ’cause that was disappointing.

Rachel F.: Right

Rachel T.: That was disappointing and if I think about it, I’m still like, that’s kind of disappointing.

Rachel F.: Right

Rachel T.: But I can look at that, I can feel that, and that’s okay for me to feel.

Rachel F.: Right

Rachel T.: But I’m also a business owner. And I’m gonna have successes and failures. And a success was that I got to speak there. A failure was that [00:37:00] maybe it didn’t really do anything that I can see yet.

Rachel F.: Couple things. I wanna respond to that with. The first being, I totally agree with you that we have to acknowledge the disappointment because it is disappointing.

Rachel T.: Yeah.

Rachel F.: So we’re not gonna brush that feeling aside. But we can’t stay there, because if we stay there, we’re not gonna improve and do better next time. Right? And I think that’s where we have to have like the business hat on. You know, the writer side of us is like, hurt, right? Emotionally hurt. Like our creativity or like creative soul is hurt.

But as a business owner, our job is to say, okay, well why didn’t it work? What could I have done differently? What could I do better? Not taking on that like victim, like, oh, woe is me. Nobody likes me. But rather, okay, what could I have done better during my sessions to promote my books in the bookstore?

Rachel T.: Yes.

Rachel F.: What, what could I have done better during those sessions to maybe direct people to buy from me after the conference or to follow me in that moment? [00:38:00] Could I have taken like something I know notice, um, some speakers do they have people sign up for their email list in the session. They give them kind of a, a lead magnet, you know. Uh, they give them come some kind of like incentive to sign up. But they pass around the sheet during,

Rachel T.: yeah.

Rachel F.: The, um, event and, um, I think just even small things like that, right? Like, okay, how could I have, how could I have captured your lead out of this captive audience? I literally had people

Rachel T.: Yes.

Rachel F.: Sitting here talking to me. What could I have done better to turn the sale? What could I have done better to solidified a following? What could I have done better to made that sure that that engagement continued after the session was over?

And so we have to think like that. We have to be constantly analyzing.

Rachel T.: It’s great. The discomfort brings up questions like you were just asking like, oh, what could I have done? Or what would make a difference? Because after that I was able to look back at the conference and be like, oh, I noticed I went to this person’s class [00:39:00] and I signed up for their email. And I, I bought their book after. I was curious about them after. And I thought of like, what happened in their session and made me do that. And that made a difference.

Rachel F.: Yeah. And then the second thing I wanted to point out is that it was not wasted, right? Like we cannot feel like those little moments that feel disappointing to us are wasted because in that moment, you now have that speaking thing under your belt and you can say when you go to somebody else, Hey, so and so I would like to speak at your event. Here’s my past experience. Right? So it’s not wasted. So I think that is all very important for us as business owners and as creatives to make sure that we welcome the feeling, but then to be analytical too, and not just lose it as a, not have it be a missed opportunity for learning.

Rachel T.: Yeah.

Rachel F.: And so, um, because nothing’s wasted,

Rachel T.: No.

Rachel F.: Well I have enjoyed talking to you, Rachel. I think [00:40:00] it is such a needed conversation. There is no, you know, we, we shouldn’t despise our small beginnings. And we should welcome them as learning opportunities and I think this is a really great conversation for that. Um, before we go, why don’t you tell us where you hang out on the internet so we can hang out there with you.

Rachel T.: Oh yeah, so I am mostly on Instagram. I like to focus on one social media outlet for now, because I’m not a social media person.

Rachel F.: Yeah.

Rachel T.: I don’t know if it’s the age or what. I just missed the tech savvy era. But yeah, I hang out on Instagram and um, my handle is @byracheltrusty. By as in like, this book is by Rachel Trusty .And I just, I like to do a lot of fun stuff on there. And also I will be announcing on there soon I have email list thing coming up. So I’ll be announcing that pretty soon on there too.

Rachel F.: Oh, so fun. Well, [00:41:00] um, for those of you who are listening, make sure you go check out Rachel, um, and on Instagram and check out and keep watching for that, uh, announcement. And if you have a friend who is also in the beginning stages of their business and could be benefit from this conversation, would you please pass it along to them so that they can learn from Rachel’s, um, wisdom beyond her years, quite honestly. And her, um, her beautiful spirit and desire to just be in a posture of learning and growth and, um, making progress for it. And so, Rachel, thank you so much for being here today. I really appreciated you coming on here and having this conversation with me.

Rachel T.: And thank you for having me, Rachel.

Rachel F.: And I hope you the listener will join us back here next week as we continue this conversation on the business of Christian Fiction.



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Hey! I'm Rachel and I'm so glad you're here today!

I help Christian fiction writers figure out how they can make an impact and an income from their storytelling while keeping rest a priority. 

You can learn more about how I’m in your corner here.

And you can learn more about my personal journey here.

One last thing, if you’re looking for a bit more rest in your life, be sure to check out the Rest & Reflect guided journal.

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