We had the good fortune of connecting with Julie Olivia and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Julie, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Work life balance has been an interesting journey for me. When I started writing and “authoring” I had a corporate 8-5 job as well, so balance didn’t really exist. For about three years, it felt like I was working two jobs with my day job during the week and writing on nights and weekends. There were a lot of events I would say no to because my self-imposed deadline was coming up and I needed to finish a draft or get something to an editor. However, since leaving my corporate job to write full time, it’s been a major weight off my shoulders. Sure, I work longer hours than I did at my corporate job because there is ALWAYS something to work on, but it’s better than having two gigs! I never believed people when they said if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. But, I get it now. Twelve hour days fly by when you’re having fun.

At the moment, my husband and I do not have children so balance is definitely easier than someone who has a whole family to juggle. If either of us need to work late or tackle items on weekends, we’re both good about shifting things around. Plus, we only have a cat so she pretty much does her own thing. However, once our family grows, with children and potentially a dog, I’m honestly not sure how balance will work in! But, as of right now, the balance is good.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I write romance books and self-publish on Amazon. I think the fact that it’s self-publishing is the thing I’m most proud of. I don’t get to write a book then immediately move on to the next one. With self-publishing, you have to book your own editors, find a cover artist, and market, market, market. People don’t realize that marketing yourself is 60% of the job. We’re the writer and the promoter all wrapped into one. It’s definitely not an easy journey. Self publishing is a business with a lot of ebbs and flows, especially since your main source of advertising is social media. An algorithm change might throw off your entire strategy. But the key is to say “okay, well, that happened and there’s nothing we can do about it” so then you pivot. Sometimes it gets frustrating, but I thank the internet for existing every day. With it, my career wouldn’t be possible.

There are a lot of lessons I’ve had to learn when it comes to writing as well. Obviously, you need to constantly be improving your craft. If you think you know how to tell a good story, think again. Read that plotting book even if you think you “know it all.” If you see a new character development book making its round in the writing world, pick it up. You never know what advice will finally click with you and change your entire process. I’ve written nine books, and I still feel like a baby author, stumbling my way through the world.

Above all else, be yourself. When I first started, I wanted to write what was hot at the moment and what I thought readers would want to read. Don’t make my mistake. Write what YOU want to read. You’ll have more fun writing it and that enjoyment will show in your story. My current series in set in a theme park. Did I think people would wanna read it? Honestly, I wasn’t sure. But I’ve been fascinated by theme parks for years so I wanted a series where I could create my own. It was a big risk, but I’m so happy I took it. I had a blast with it, and it’s been my most successful release so far. Write what you love.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m admittedly a huge homebody! I love sitting on my porch, walking in my neighborhood, and hanging out with family. But, if you’ve never been to Atlanta ever in your life, I always drag people to the Georgia Aquarium. Maybe it’s a bit cliche, but that place is absolutely magical. Aside from that, I’m pretty close to Marietta Square and I adore that area. There’s a pub you can drop into and sometimes there’s a little piano bar above the theater. Plus, they always have events.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Writing may be a solitary activity, but having a support network is everything. Shout out to my husband is my biggest supporter. He listens to all my crazy plot ideas and is fantastic at identifying little nuggets I could expand on. Plus, as a romance author, he’s the inspiration for all my hunky leads! But there’s also my family: my dad who is my biggest cheerleader, my brother who reads all my books on the day of release, and my sister-in-law who is my rock throughout all of this. I swear I call her at least once a week panicking about something and she always talks me off a ledge. And of course, shout out to the romance readers. It’s hard to describe how supportive and engaging these readers are. They make writing in this genre so much fun.

Website: https://julieoliviaauthor.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/julieoliviaauthor/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/julieoliviaauthor

Other: You can find my books on Amazon! https://www.amazon.com/Julie-Olivia/e/B07YRWGFDG

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