Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Insecure Writer's Support Group

For those of you unfamiliar with the Insecure Writer's Support Group... A couple of hundred writers from around the blogosphere have signed up to this bloghop, which is hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Then, on the first Wednesday of every month, we share our insecurities and/or encouragements.

This month, I'm co-hosting the IWSG Bloghop along with LK Hill, Juneta Key, Christy, and Joylene Butler

Before I get into my post, though, I just have two more spots of admin to get through. 

First, I'm also visiting Ronel Janesen van Vuuren today, sharing some of my thoughts on Patreon

Then, if you'd rather read this exact same post on Wordpress, please click here

Right. Now that's done, let's get into it, shall we? 



As you may or may not know, I've recently started taking this being-a-writer thing seriously. Like... really really seriously. 

Like... I'm-being-a-writer-for-90%-of-my-time-and-using-my-writing-skills-to-earn-99%-of-my-income seriously. 

And how's it going? 

Surprisingly well, money wise. I basically started from scratch in September. And in January, I've made my country's minimum wage for the first time. 

Which is AMAZE-BALLS. You guys can't imagine how happy I am with that. 

Except. 

Most of that money's coming from me freelancing as an editor/formatter/cover designer (which I totally see as writing skills, because all of the above are needed for me to make it as a writer.) 

Not so much from selling books. 

But that's okay, because I always knew I should start of making money as I can and spending money on marketing etc for my books in order to grow my readership. 

Here's the thing, though... Growing my readership will actually happen when I have my next book out. Which I can't get to when my freelance list fills up out of nowhere. 

And I can't market my old books until I have them updated. Which some of you might now be chortling about, because I've been saying I'll update the books since May last year. And the cause of the delay? 

Newsletters. Website. I have no money to pay someone to design either, and because people are hiring me for a ton of stuff they don't have time for, I don't have the time to do either of those two myself. 

And I can't link to them unless I have them set up. So I can't update my books to include the links. 

See? One giant bowl of I-really-have-no-time spaghetti. 

So now, I'm trying to make writing time, which is making me feel bad, because the whole reason why I decided to go full-time was that I WANTED TO HAVE TIME TO WRITE! 

*gasp gasp gasp*

How do you deal with everything trying to steal your writing time? Any advice for me? 

54 comments:

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

What an accomplishment, Misha. I'm thrilled for you. You're doing what you love and getting paid! How wonderful is that!

Cathrina Constantine said...

I think time is a bane to all of us. Trying to make time slow down so we can get something accomplished is harder everyday. And you're not alone. But the good news is, it sounds like you're doing what you enjoy and making money while doing it. Keep up the good work.

Thank you for co-hosting this month, Misha!!!

Elizabeth Alsobrooks said...

Your dilemma sounds sadly normal to me. Good luck. I believe it was Stephen King who originally took 5 years to either make it or quit at writing.... So you are in good company and I have every faith in you!

Em-Musing said...

Busy, busy lady! I admire you. Writing-time is an illusive thing. It taunts me all day long asking, "when will you finally sit your rear down and give me hours of your day to write/edit/research. It's a daily struggle especially with FB tempting me.

Bish Denham said...

Congratulations! And, I know how frustrating it must be to be working on other people's stuff and not your own. I have a hard enough time carving out time for myself, I can imagine what you have to deal with.

That said, I suspect you'll find a way!

Fundy Blue said...

Hi, Misha! Congratulations on all that you've accomplished so far! I'm the worst person possible to give suggestions on how to manage everything, since I'm always struggling with time. Block out a few chunks of time for writing in red permanent marker in your weekly calendar and stick with it. Happy writing!

Tamara Narayan said...

I wish I had some words of wisdom. I have the time to write, but I am terrible at wasting it. Yet, every day I exercise, because if I don't, I won't sleep. I need to treat writing the same way--make it a mandatory thing for at least a few hours a day.

Megan Morgan said...

Readership definitely takes time to build. You sound like you have a good plan though, and congratulations on all you've done so far!

Crystal Collier said...

Have you read Kelly Hashway's blog? Now that woman is a pro. She's worked at this for enough years that she's a speed demon in all things writing/editing. I'll never be that fast, but I'd like to aim for it. I think the key is building the skills until they don't take as much time per individual project. That, or setting hours and only working on certain types of things during those hours.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I never realized writing was so much work. I feel your pain! But we'll hang in there.

And I totally forgot to do my monthly goal check-in. I'm going to do it this Friday- just to get myself on schedule.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sounds like a vicious cycle. But cool you are making money now.
Thanks for co-hosting this month!

Pat Garcia said...

Hi,
So nice to have you co-hosting today. I visited Ronel blog and read your interview. Thanks for giving me some clarity on some issues that I was having with Patreon and what it is exactly.
Shalom aleichem,
Pat

Jennifer Hawes said...

My kids are always stealing my writing time and my food and my money ;-) Thanks for co-hosting today!

Karen Walker said...

That's great about you making money doing what you love. The only way I make sure my writing happens is to get it into my calendar and make that sacrosanct. Good luck.

Jacqui Murray said...

I completely understand your problem--finding time to do it all. A career as a writer truly isn't a one-woman show. I don't know how to juggle it either so hope your future posts explain it!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I know what you mean. I'm involved with three writing groups and have taken on responsibility in all of them, partly for the networking and exposure. Most of the time it seems like all it does is use up all my own time to write. Obviously, I don't have the answer to your problem but congrats on making your earnings goal.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I wish I had some good advice for you. I will send positive vibes your way though. Best of luck with everything! :)

Karen Lynn said...

Congratulations on everything! It sounds really nice to be making some money, even if it isn't from selling books.

Adrienne Reiter said...

Sounds like you're swamped, but doing what you love! Congrats! Every over night success is ten years in the making, right?
I try to write first thing in the morning over coffee when my brain is still waking up, and I'm not yet stressed over all I have to get done that day. Fantastic post! Thanks for co-hosting.
Best,
Adrienne

A Beer For The Shower said...

I'm exhausted and stressed out just reading that. We both know how it goes. As long as you're doing something you love (whether for yourself, or services for others), it's all worth it, though! It sure beats a regular job.

Nancy Gideon said...

Thanks for co-hosting this month, Misha! Putting your writing first is hard when your conscience nags you to help out others. Unlike you, I get paid except in appreciation and reciprocal good deeds but I don't think the money would matter to me. I've had to prioritize what I'm able and willing to give to others. I still do and always will but I have my own deadlines to meet first because writing is my primary business (but the 8-to5 is an evil master!).

cleemckenzie said...

So happy to see your goal-setting pay off! Keep up the great work.

S.A. Larsenッ said...

Wow, Misha! That's wonderful! You must be thrilled. I can hear a change in your writing voice, too. YAY!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Welcome to my merry-go-round. While money isn't an issue, time is. DLP keeps me busy enough that I don't have time to write or solicit writers to format their books.

Patsy said...

It's kind of ironic, and jolly annoying, that once we start taking writing seriously we actually have more non writing stuff to do. I'm still struggling to get the balance right myself, but one thing which I find helpful is to try to do some writing first - and only then look at emails and update the blog and attempt some marketing and all the rest of it.

M.J. Fifield said...

It is tremendously hard to find the right balance between writing time and everything trying to steal said writing time. I have yet to find it, personally, so I can't offer any advice. But I have all the faith in the world that not only will you figure this out, but you'll excel at it.

Liesbet said...

I totally recognize the feeling, Misha. It is really awesome that you made the choice to write full-time, but there are so many writing projects to attend to that actually sitting down to write a book, somehow ends up at the bottom of the "to-do" list.

I feel overwhelmed as well and really want to focus on writing my memoir. But, I need to write articles to make money, blogs to keep readers interested, applications to secure house sits (as this is what we do and where we live, pet and house sitting throughout the US), letters to apply for other jobs, any PR related to the small business we run, emails to keep my remote social life going, and diaries, because that is what I have been doing for 30 years. Of course, there is social media as well, which is very distracting, and checking out fellow bloggers' sites. Yeah... too little time, too many goals. Good luck with your priorities!!! :-)

Liesbet @ Roaming About – A Life Less Ordinary

Olga Godim said...

Congrats on your financial success. I should take lessons.
My sympathy for your problem with time, or rather the lack of it. We all suffer the same conundrum. Fiction doesn't make us rich, alas, but it makes us happy. Let's find a balance.

Chemist Ken said...

I just try to sneak in writing time whenever I can. I'm not very successful though since I've been working on my story for years now and still and a ways to go. Making the jump to full time always leaves you scraping for time to write at the beginning. Things will get better with time. Just be patient.

Chemist Ken said...

Oh, and I forgot to say thanks for co-hosting this month's IWSG.

Victoria Marie Lees said...

I've followed your blog! And I'll follow you on G+. You have a wonderful blog.

Time to write...a dilemma for many of us. But you do have financial success doing what you love. Bravo! That is most of the battle. By the way, thanks for co-hosting this month's IWSG. I'll see you around the blogosphere.


Chrys Fey said...

I am in the same predicament. I get my money from editing, not selling books. And the more I edit now, the less time I have to write. I haven't written creatively since November.

Elsie Amata said...

Thank you for co-hosting. Unfortunately, I don't have any ideas for you. You're way ahead of me. You're making money at this gig...me, not so much. Good luck!

Sarah Foster said...

That's really great that you've been earning money! It can be hard to find the time to do the things you want to do when there's so much you need to do.
Thanks for co-hosting!

Dean K Miller said...

Yes the biggest issue of all! I am writing more marketing less and not doing much else. I have three projects now so I am putting my focus there. Good luck to you and I am impressed by your commitment. Thanks for cohosting this month.

Toinette Thomas said...

Thanks for co-hosting this month. So happy that you've been able to make the transition to full-time writing. Sorry to hear of the hardships it comes with, but I still bet you wouldn't go back to something else. As for finding time to write, who knows really. Everyone seems to come up with their own system. Perhaps it's just a matter of scheduling it. Treat yourself like a client and set time aside just for your writing. I don't know.

A. B. Keuser said...

Thanks for co-hosting, hopefully you find balance soon!

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Maybe hire a personal assistant for a while. They can be very affordable. I meet some at facebook book promo parties because authors use them to represent slots they can't fill. If I had more experience I would become one myself. All the best in finding the balance you need Misha.

Launna said...

I'm not a writer like yourself but I too find it difficult to find time to write when I want to write often. I am planning on writing out a calendar of what I need to do so that I can have more time to write... I need to plan it to make it happen... just as I am waking up earlier so I can start yoga which I feel very un-coordinated... oh well, I just have to keep at it... lol xox

Raimey Gallant said...

Keep me away from that bowl of spaghetti;) I really enjoyed your contribution to Ronel's post on Patreon, so thanks for that too!

The Cynical Sailor said...

That's a huge accomplishment - or "amaze-balls" as you say :-) It's a tricky balance, but I'm sure it will all work out. Thanks so much for co-hosting.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

You are a busy lady. Congratulations on all you do. I don't know the answers to much of anything, but wish you success in finding time to write your stories.
Thank you for co-hosting this month. Have a great week.

Lynn La Vita said...

Congratulations on earning cold hard cash for your writing and creative skills! Keep up the good work...I'm thinking as you edit other folks writing it might influence your writing. Thank you for co-hosting IWSG.

Nicki Elson said...

Ug. I faced the same time dilemma when I did freelance editing for a small publisher. How I resolved it was to finally start saying no to projects - I alternated blocks of time between editing for others and working on my own stuff. Of course, this was an easy choice for me since the editing gig was a bad deal (I got paid a % of royalities) so it really didn't net much income. But you shouldn't feel bad turning down freelance work once in a while or delaying the schedule to block out time for your own works.

Michelle Wallace said...

Hey Misha!
You have the tenacity, so I know you'll get there...all in good time.
At the moment, the humidity is stealing all my creativity...argh!
I know the Cape Town weather is beautiful this time of year; hot but minus the humidity we experience.

Thank you for co-hosting the IWSG this month.

Juneta Key said...

LOL, Round and round we go. Congrats on making minimum wage that is awesome. Don't know if I could help you with anything but if you think I can let me know. I do my own newsletter although it does not go out much and I do my own website. Best of luck Misha, proud of you.

Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

Lexa Cain said...

The I-have-no-time problem is very real for writers. Congrats on working as a freelancer and earning money! Then you can see something for all your time and trouble. Unfortunately it'll make the problem of no-time-to-write harder. I was a freelance article writer for about 6 months, but I never had any time for my own writing. So I sacrifice money for a future "author career" that may materialize some day ... or not. Have a good week, Misha!

Diane Burton said...

Thanks for co-hosting this month, Misha. Congrats on your earning ability. Wow. That is so great. As for how to do everything (haha, wish I really knew how), try segmenting your day into percentages. What percent do you spend on freelance writing, marketing, etc. Factor in sleep and having a life. Obviously, you'll spend the most time on that which brings in the most money. But say you spend 8 hours on freelancing, allocate an hour for marketing and an hour for writing. Even if that's all you can spend on writing, it's more than you're spending now. Right? Good luck to you.

Doreen McGettigan said...

Thank you so much for hosting! I am in the same boat as you when it comes to time for writing. My freelance stuff fills up my day so I am back to writing early mornings and late nights. I dream of having people:)

Kalpanaa M said...

First of all - congratulations on earning so much and that in a mere 4 months.
Secondly - to unravel the bowl of spaghetti, take one strand at a time. Put aside an hour a day for the strand that you are unraveling - perhaps writing your next book which will pay for marketing your old books. Just an hour a day - or maybe even half an hour.
Alternately you may soon have enough money from your freelancing to update your old books - although that would make me feel I'm selling out a little on my own creativity.
See what works for you - and best of luck.

Christine Rains said...

You're doing fantastically! Though, yes, it does suck that it cuts into your writing time. I find myself dreading marketing more and more because it does just that.

Mori Lii said...

Congrats on making money! That's always a good thing. :) Whenever something cuts into writing, it can suck. I would suggest trying to set aside a special time to work on writing and making sure that time is specifically for writing. For me, I am easily distracted due to personal reasons, and that can cut into my writing a lot and it causes stress for me which reveals another personal disorder for me, which sucks, but I try to attempt working on my novels.

I'm sure you'll be able to achieve your goals!

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

It's always a juggling act, isn't it? Congratulations on making your country's minimum wage. That really is amazing. In time, I have faith you'll find and/or carve out more of a balance. Until then, enjoy it all.

Catherine Stine said...

Congrats on making the $ in writing related ways. As far as the time-balancing act? Hmmm, I'm still trying to figure it out. A strict schedule sometimes works.