Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Insecure Writer's Support Group

First Wednesday of the month so it's time to get your insecurities out or give gems of encouragement. It's time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. I'm not entirely sure what I want to talk about, so I think I'll just ramble a bit and see what I end up with. Last month, I talked about some insecurities I had. I can't say those insecurities have vanished, but I do have some good news. My free short story I published last month has had almost 400 downloads on Smashwords.

I'm a little conflicted about that though. I wrote the short story with the intention of putting it up for free to give readers a taste of my writing style. At the end is a sample of Being Human with links to where that can be bought. It's a piece of advice I have seen other writers say works. Now, it's been less than a month, so I know not to expect ay activity on Being Human, but I still wonder. Out of those almost 400 downloads, how many people will actually read my little story? Is having a short story for free really worth it? I only have the one book out and other stories are still a long way off from being ready to be published. Maybe I jumped the gun, let my impatience get the best of me. Then again, it's not like having the free story will hurt. Maybe months down the road, a bunch of people who downloaded it will read it, read the sample and decide to buy Being Human. I don't know.

That's the hardest part to deal with. Not knowing. As writers, we pour our hearts and souls into our stories, and then we put them into the world with the hope that people will discover it and enjoy it. We all want to be the next J.K. Rowling or Stephen King. We really do, and we try our best to do everything we can think of to make that happen. For some it works, and others it doesn't. We have no way of telling who will hit that lucky strike.

Despite what may or may not happen, I think we should be proud of ourselves. We've crafted a story, created a world and filled it with people. That's pretty cool in my opinion. And when things get tough, when the future seems completely bleak and unpredictable, remember that first time you finished a first draft. Was it worth it?


  1. It was worth it!
    That's a unique trick to put a link to your book in the free short story. Maybe I need to write some short stories!

  2. Not knowing is killer. I don't even have anything out there yet and I still have that problem.

    Everything we do, I think, is a leap of faith. All we can do is hope for the best.

  3. it's a slow process you have no control over, but every step is a step forward, and 400 downloads is a lot of steps.


  4. I agree! the hardest pat is not knowing. I'm in ht same boat, but on a different body of water. I'm waiting to hear back from agents who still have my ms. But the feeling is the same. Do they like it? It's a tough place to be. I posted for Alex's IWSG on this very topic.

  5. 400 of anything is awesome! Give yourself and your work some time.

  6. Having a story for free is worth it. It gives you exposure. Feedbooks is another great place to put up a free read. Scribd, too. Doesn't cost anything.

    I don't think it translates into sales unless it's introducing a series, but people are still reading you. Which for now, is what you want.

  7. @Alex, I'd recommend it. You never know where it might lead you.

    @MJ, it's a big leap of faith sometimes. lol

    @Mood, yup. Thanks. =)

    @Nancy, I never did the agent route, and I can't imagine how nerve wracking that would be.

    @Heather, thanks.

    @M Pax, Thanks for the site recommendations. I'll look into them later.

  8. They say the waiting is the hardest part, but like you stated, not knowing is hard to deal with too. But be proud. If you accomplish what you set out to do, this is more than most of the rest of the world is doing today.

  9. It's tricky with offering books for free, especially as you often get plenty of greedy people who would never have bought it normally as it isn't their thing. Then they put up scathing reviews :( But I feel in the long run, it helps :)