Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Insecure Writers' Support Group: Like a circle within a circle...

Goodness! I've been so busy lately, I almost lost track of time! Today is actually the first Wednesday of October, which means it's time for my Insecure Writer's Support Group post. For those of you who are familiar with IWSG, it's a monthly bloghop hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh, where we share our writing insecurities and encouragements with each other.

For more information or to sign up (you're more than welcome!), please click here.

Also, if you'd rather read this post on Wordpress, please click here.

My Insecurity

My biggest insecurity this month is one I've been able to push aside for the most part, but once I've started looking at it, it's actually a big one. 

See, recently I decided to take this writing gig full-time. (Long story, but don't worry. I didn't quit the day-job either.) The biggest difference that this decision has made is that I'm actually devoting most of my day to either writing or marketing in an attempt to bring in money. 

The thing is that I started doing this with $100 in the bank, which is currently stuck there because Payoneer has a $200 pay-out limit. 

So. Paid marketing platforms are out for me at the moment. As is basically anything I want to do to my books until my money is out (because I need to pay for my Adobe programs.)

And while my advertising for beta-reading, mentoring etc on Fiverr by far gets the most clicks, I think people might be scared of booking me when I have no reviews. (Annoying, because I've done six years' worth of critiques for my blogging buddies already, so I have the experience.) 

Which means that right now, I'm pretty much stuck. I want to refresh two of my three books to get more readers for those... But... I either have to pay a formatter (which I can't.) or use at least Adobe Acrobat. (Which I can't.) 

I have $4 stuck in Fiver at the moment (because they have a $50 pay-out limit) and I can get $1 more to try out a $5 marketing spree (I can use the $4 as credit). But there's little point to doing that until my books are updated. I need every dollar to go to maximum effect. So I can't just spend $5 on something I don't think will make a difference until I have everything in place that I need in place. 

So it's a vicious circle. Because without effective marketing, I'm not going to sell more books, which means I won't be getting $100 anytime soon. 

And EVEN if I make $100 in book sales, it'll take at least two months before I get the royalties. 


Right now, the quickest way for me to get that $100 would be to make it on Fiverr, or if people pledged support on Patreon. (Because that would take until the end of the month.) Both will take time building up, though.

So yeah. It's a vicious circle. 

Now for the IWSG Question...

When do you know the story is ready? 

Depends on what the story is supposed to be ready for. 

I know a story is ready to be written when I know the climax and ending. 
I know it's ready for editing when I no longer feel as if every word in the draft is precious and needs to be protected at every cost. 
I know it's ready for publishing when I spend an hour moving a single comma around. (Or some such.) 

What about you? When do you know a story is ready? Thoughts on a way for me to break my vicious circle?


  1. I have a suggestion. Go to those people you've helped with critiques and ask them for endorsements that you can put on a page (on your blog/website) with all of your details for what people need to know if they are considering booking you. That might help. :)

    Good luck!

  2. Chrys's suggestion is brilliant. If I weren't in the same financial position as you, with Christmas fast approaching, I'd hire you. Alas, like yourself, there is no spare change left in the kitty. So frustrating.

  3. WOMAN! Why didn't you just ask for a recommendation? Shoot me an email and I'll shoot you one back with a glowing recommendation. I'm betting you've got a hundred other people who will do the same.

  4. Yes, ask some people for recommendations! How do they go about leaving one for you?

  5. Such smart and supportive folks commenting. Get those recommendations. You can do it! :)

  6. So much support out there for you, Misha. Just to need to ask!! Recommendations are key! Like reviews for books! Wishing you and your bank balance a more fruitful month. Keep your spirits high and continue to work hard (as well as ask for help!) - things will happen! Sending you lots of positive vibes!

  7. I'll try to order an editing gig from you on Fiverr either later this month or early next month. It will be the first time ordering something on Fiverr from someone I know. Have to watch that budget indeed and all the best. We love and support you Misha.

  8. I'd never heard of Fiverr before. Interesting. Best of luck with your writing and search for editing gigs. Have you thought of more old-fashioned venues, like posting fliers at your local college? Students often need help revising their writing projects.

  9. I wish you the best of luck! I've been trying to be more "business" minded too. It's not really a natural state for me. I just want to spend all my time making stuff up.

  10. That's why we love Chrys, because she's chalked full of excellent ideas. Congratulations on going full time. You won't regret it, Misha. Be patient. Good luck.

  11. I like Chrys's idea. You should put up a page too on your blog/website about what services you offer and you can collect testimonials too.

  12. I wish I knew. I have a similar vicious circle for my writing marketing going on.
    Keep us updated and best wishes this month!


  14. You've really branched out, Misha. That's really cool. The life of an indie author isn't easy. You can go back to those critiques you did for people and ask for a referral. That might help. Good luck!

  15. It's bad enough that we have to learn all the rules of writing. Now we have to learn bookkeeping just to make marketing decisions. Arg! Hopefully all the glowing reviews you receive will kick your career into gear. Good luck!

  16. Hi Misha,
    Hoping you find a plausible solution that will help you get where you want to go with with your books.
    Shalom aleichem,

  17. Ghads; where are the days when an author just has to be an author; not publisher, plubicist and accountant. Almost scary enough to not write at all.

  18. Best of luck! And for formatting you could use Scrivener ($40, way cheaper than Adobe), or do it yourself with a Word template, there are many free out there on the Interwebs. Best of luck!

  19. If you've been beta reading for the past six years, there are a LOT of writers who'd be more than happy to write a recommendation for you. All ya have to do is ask!

    Good luck. I hope your new approach is a huge success for you.

  20. Trying to catch up with everyone's IWSG posts. Good luck with your new goal. It will take some stamina to do all of that and keep your day job. Sending positive energy.


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