Welcome to 2020! 🎉
It’s a new year/new you, right…? 😂
Some aren’t down for setting goals for themselves for the new year and I totally get that. I used to do them, but I almost always ended up never doing going through with what I had planned (like going to the gym to get fit), haha. I know I’m not the only one who’s like that, so don’t judge me too harshly.
What I want to talk about today is something that a lot of people do, and probably half the time don’t even know they’re doing it, and that’s underselling yourself. I also want to touch upon not knowing your worth. In my opinion, the two can go hand in hand.
LET'S GET STARTED, SHALL WE?
When I entered 2020, I did my best to leave all negativity and self-loathing in 2019. And for the most part, I’ve been able to stay on track and keep a positive state of mind.
One of the things that I recently realized about myself, and this is more so around the time that I was approached to enter the Wattpad Paid Stories program, is that I was seriously underselling myself not only as a writer but as a content creator in general.
It’s almost like the lightbulb went off above my head and I finally realized that it’s okay for me to be paid for my talents. It’s okay for me to accept brand deals and other offers that are beneficial for me and not shady/bad for business/bad for my audience. I realized that I’m worth more than I thought I was (again, my confidence was at an all-time low). And that really opened my eyes to a lot of interesting things that I later discovered about myself...
So when Wattpad asked me if I wanted to join their paid stories program back around July of 2019, I was super ecstatic and even more so shocked. Like, BIG SHOCKED... 😲
I can admit that I had been going through a bit of a rough patch, mentally, regarding writing and whether it was something that I wanted to continue doing or not. I won’t go down that depressive rabbit hole with you all right now, but long story short, that opportunity made me realize that I wasn’t as pathetic as I felt.
It kind of solidified for me that yes, this is what I’m supposed to be doing with my life—writing. I am a writer. I’ve always been a writer. It’s what I love to do. It’s what I eat, sleep, and breathe. It’s how hundreds of thousands of random people on the internet know me! I’ve made a name for myself. I’m worth something. So I’m not giving this shit up. I’m not.
As it is with everything, there will be hard days but in the end, when you’re damn good at something, it doesn’t matter how many bad days you have because in the end, your passion for that craft or that hobby or whatever it is that you’re into, that passion will be enough to get you through the tough times.
I say all that to get to the point of saying that, in my darkest moments, that opportunity made me realize my worth again. It made me realize that I'm too hard on myself and that I have to stop being my own worst enemy.
And in saying all that, I know I’m not the greatest writer who ever graced this earth, but I also know I’m not the worst. I can do a lil’ something and put out a decent book or two. I know what I’m good at, I know what I’m weak at, and I know that going forward… Amy isn’t going to be out here slaving away for free...
Time is money 💰 and I need my coins. ALL of them. So either hire me, or keep it moving!
When you know your worth, you stop settling for less. You stop underselling yourself and you get out there and you get what you know you deserve.
I’ve been writing online since 2012. Patreon came out the following year. I didn’t end up making one until the end of 2019… and the primary reason why is because I was my own worst critique. I didn’t think I was good enough as a writer and I didn’t think there would be anyone out there who would be willing to monetarily support my work.
No one went in harder on myself than I did.
I was my biggest hater.
But over time, thank God, I managed to get out of that negative mindset, and I realized that I’m not as trash as I think I am. I realized it’s okay to want to turn my passion into an actual worthy career. And that’s what I’ve been doing ever since, or have been trying to do.
Now, the thing about all this is, and what I even had to ask myself… how do you set a price for yourself? What is your limit? Are you open to negotiations, or are your prices final?
So many questions to consider.
And I’m not just talking about Patreon right now, I’m talking in general. When you’re approached by a brand or a rep from a writing app who wants to give you a contract in exchange for one of your most popular stories on Wattpad, or whatever else the case may be… the questions always come down to, how much am I getting and how much are they getting out of what I’m supposed to be getting? Something along those lines. And this is of course after you’ve done the research to make sure they aren’t scammers or anything like that.
But, yes. It can be very hard to set prices for your content when you don’t even know where to begin.
For example, talking specifically about writing and freelancing, some writers charge per hour that they work, or they may charge per word. I’m not going to go too deep into detail about all of that, Google is your friend. I do encourage you to take the time to do the research and figure out what best works for you (and your audience) and roll with that.
When I started my Patreon, I immediately knew that I was not going to charge anyone $10, $15, or $20 a month to join for my work because I already KNEW that I would not be able to consistently put out content worthy of those prices. If I’m subscribed to someone who’s charging $20 a month, then I expect to be well fed on content. Money is money and it does not grow on trees, so if you want me to spend an extra $20 on you on top of all the other personal bills that I have, then I have certain expectations for you as a content creator.
Getting back to me—I know my limits. I know what I can and can’t do, so I was not going to be out here expecting people to throw a shit ton of money at me when I know I can’t make daily content or whatever the case is for some.
Right now, and I don’t see this changing for the future, I only have two tiers on Patreon that people can join. I have a $3 tier and a $5 tier. Combined, I’m giving out over 100k+ words worth of already completed content, on top of me updating my current ongoing projects weekly. No, I’m not perfect. Yes, there are times where I may go without updating for the week. But am I always transparent with my audience so they’re not left in the dark questing what the hell is going on.
I don’t treat my readers/supporters like they’re less than me. I don’t look at them and only see $$$, as some people might. So when I’m out here charging people for my content, you best know that I’m putting my best foot forward at all times and am living up to the promise of what I said I was going to give them. And so far, I don’t think I have any complaints 😂
Getting back on track because I’m clearly all over the place, please know your worth.
Don’t oversell or undersell yourself.
If you’re a writer and you’re trying to figure out ways to monetize your work, there are hundreds of options for you. Seek them out. Test them out. Find what works for you and roll with it. Don’t let anyone guilt-trip you into feeling like you shouldn’t be charging $3.99 for your debut eBook just because they can’t afford it. That’s not your problem. It’s theirs.
And this actually brings me into a rant... 🤬
Aside from knowing our worth in 2020, I’m also on the campaign of I’m not about to be out here working and busting my ass for free. I have put years into this writing shit, and I feel like I have more than earned it when it comes to wanting to charge people for my services.
I haven’t gone into too much detail about this but recently, I turned over a new leaf and decided that I would no longer be posting any smut on Wattpad. No sex scenes. Nothing crazy explicit. None of that. One of the reasons I did this is because I know teenagers follow me, and even though I personally started out young on Wattpad and probably read some things I shouldn’t have, I’m an adult now… and I’m just not comfortable having all these teens out here reading my smut! 😖
I know they probably have tons of books in their private libraries with all types of dirty ass content in it, but for me personally, I just don’t want to be a part of that life anymore. So I'm out!
It honestly feels weird to think about it and I even had a dream once where I was contacted by someone’s parent via Wattpad and they were going off on in me in the dm’s because they found out their child was reading one of my naughty books lol
Now I know if they don’t get it from me, they’ll obviously be able to read smut elsewhere, but again, I personally didn’t want to contribute my smut to Wattpad anymore. And after having two of my books on a side account that I specifically created to upload my mature content onto, after I had two books deleted for being too dirty, that was the last straw.
After that, I ended up moving all my mature content onto Patreon. I placed notices in my books of why I was doing so, and of course, with the support, came the hate.
“Why can’t you just mark the story mature and post it here?”
“This is unfair! Nobody is paying for smut. You're crazy.”
“I’m unfollowing and I won’t be reading anything else from you.”
I’ve heard it all. I’ve heard it all and I’ve laughed.
It tickles me that people feel so entitled and are so eager to continually eat up all this FREE content that writers churn out each day or each week again and again, but let them self-publish a book on Amazon and charge $2.99, or let them start a Patreon and suddenly everyone that was a fan now wants to call you greedy and selfish for literally bettering yourself... I don’t fucking get it. And I’m NOT with that backward support where “I’ll support and love you so long as you’re doing what I want, not what I don’t like.” How about fuck off.
I really just want to tell these people sometimes that this isn’t about you.
How am I supposed to grow as a creator and build my brand when I’m sitting here in one place, on one platform, publishing content back to back and getting nothing out of it but comments that say ‘can you upload faster.’
No, I can’t lol 😂 How ‘bout that?
In 2020, I’m not arguing with people who don’t get what I’m doing and who can’t see why it’s a good move for me because I’ll only be wasting my time.
If you want to read my smut, you can join my Patreon or move the hell on to something else. You have to be 18+ to be on Patreon anyway (I think?), unless you’re out here stealing your parents wallet in which that’s none of my business lol but at least I have the assurance when I’m putting my stuff behind a paywall that I’m not out here scarring anyone’s child, and at the same time I’m being compensated for my work. I’m literally killing two birds with one stone.
So again, in 2020, we’re knowing our worth and we’re not working for free.
You want to argue with me? You can get blocked and argue with yourself. Because I don’t have the time and I’m not letting your negative energy ruin my day.
If you have a problem with me, and when I know for a fact that I did nothing to create an issue with you, then that’s not MY problem. That’s YOUR problem.
You not being able to join Patreon and pay for the content that you FEEL like you should be getting for free is not my problem. That’s your problem. I really just want to scream this to people who comment and yell at me for stupid shit. But I don’t. I don’t. I preserve my power and don’t hand it over.
Still, it really grinds my gears when people demand shit me of me and they barely even support me... Like, do you ever share my content on social media? Do you use me as a recommendation for your friends when they need something new to read? You don’t even really support me and yet here you are getting mad that I’m out here supporting myself!
It’s insane. Truly.
Ever since I joined the Wattpad Paid Stories program and made myself a Patreon, I’ve seen a lot of people’s true colors come out and it’s opened my eyes to a lot of things… which is why I’m no longer settling for less, and if you’re a writer who may be reading, watching, or listening to this (I have a podcast!), then I hope you don’t settle for less either.
Bless up everyone 🙏