Poverty can be detrimental for anyone. I live on a fixed income. I’m a single mother with two kids and my arrearages (past child support I’m owed) have been put on hold while my ex is out on leave from his job. To say we’re barely getting by is an understatement. We’re just coasting, doing the best we can to make end meets but there’s no extra money and very little for food. We tried EBT but as my kids are no longer minor we aren’t eligible for help. I’m lucky to be getting help with my medical to be honest though I have to pay for my prescriptions. With bipolar and a shot that costs $15k a month, the co-pays can rack up. I give you these figures, so you can understand a little bit about where I’m coming from right now. When it comes to writing, I have very little if anything left a month to pay for anything, so that’s why self-publishing is something I can’t afford. Of course, if I learned some of the techniques involved, maybe I could get the costs down to nothing but let’s face it, a good cover and a professional job are essential to make a profit.
These are some things I do to help with the costs of writing: I do buy books from time to time when I can afford it. I also ask for books for Christmas, birthdays, etc. Most of the time, I rely on Netgalley for some of the newer releases. In exchange for reviews, I get to read certain titles. I can’t get all the ones I’d like as I’m not a professional reviewer. A lot of houses reject me as a reviewer for that reason. But I do get some gems on occasion. Another source for my reading is my library. I have to go on waiting lists at times, but I find it worth the wait. I still do reviews on these books even though I don’t have to. I know how important reviews are for an author. I also re-joined KU, so I have 10 extra titles to review there. The problem is: finding the time. I still have a backlist of titles to get to on my Kindle. Not to mention, I have tons of books in my bookcases at home that I haven’t read but I’m going to make more of an effort to do so during these lean times. The easiest books for me to read are physical copies as I take them with me to apts. and while waiting for my kids.
I sneak the costs of supplies into my grocery money little by little. Printer paper. Pens. Files. Index cards. Highlighters. Flash drives. Most of the time, I do this item by item. The best time to get most items like these is in the back to school sales. I get free calendars from my bank to schedule things on each yr. Notebooks, I work in when I can. There are subscriptions I pay for each month. Office, for instance. Hulu. Netflix. OneStop for Writers. Even Apple. I try to keep up with prime as well for savings when I do have money. Then there’s Patron, where I support other writers doing podcasts and business advice. It adds up, but I do my best to juggle it all. One final item of note: my website. I’m on a personal plan so it’s not as bad and I pay once a year. I went with a personal plan, so I can control what’s on my website. The point of all this is: it’s possible to write on a tight budget. You just have to be careful and squeeze things in where you can.
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