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How Hurley Winkler Started A Newsletter With Over 1,500 Subscribers


Hurley Winkler is the writer behind Lonely Victories, a Substack newsletter she started in 2020. The name "Lonely Victories" is loosely connected to a beautiful Greta Gerwig quote I want to share with you now. You know Greta as the director behind Lady Bird and Little Women, both of which earned Academy Award nominations for Best Picture. She also directed 2023's Barbie, in case you didn't know. Greta once said "Writing with a partner is more fun than writing alone because you can make each other laugh. But writing alone can give you a very deep sense of satisfaction and lonely victory.”

As of this recording, her newsletter has over 1,500 subscribers on Substack. Hurley also interviews writers and musicians for The Creative Independent and Jacksonville Music Experience, and her writing has appeared in Hobart, Neutral Spaces, The Millions, Rejection Letters, and elsewhere. Another cool thing Hurley does is she teaches writing workshops to fiction and nonfiction writers. Some of them are one day workshops while others can last as long as 5 weeks. You can find more information about these workshops on the About page for Lonely Victories. I hope you enjoy this interview with Hurley. Down below are timestamps and links to various writers, books, websites, and programs Hurley mentioned in our interview.

Useful Timestamps

For your listening pleasure, I’ve “bolded” my favorite parts of our interview down below.

1:30 Hurley’s favorite Greta Gerwig movie
2:46 When Hurley first fell in love with writing
4:00 Hurley is an INFJ?
5:06 Hurley’s first time publishing online
6:35 What does a “Lonely Victory” look like?
9:30 Why you should write WITH other people
12:05 How to write the best work of your life
16:25 How to write great work when you’re not feeling it
18:53 How Hurley fights writing burnout
22:36 Why Hurley chose to publish on Substack
26:50 How Hurley grew to 1,500+ subscribers on Substack
31:46 Substack cares for their writers more than Medium does
34:20 Email subscribers are worth way more than followers
37:30 The most important part of growing on Substack
39:15 Does a lack of writing ideas mean you’re in the wrong niche?
41:10 How Hurley approaches “paid” subscriptions on Substack
45:40 How 1 person helped Hurley get 1,000 subscribers


Here are a few links to Hurley’s section of the internet:

Lonely Victories (Hurley’s newsletter)
Book Club For Writers (Hurley’s paid subscriber club)
Hurley Winkler’s website
Hurley on Instagram
Hurley on Twitter

Here are a few links to various things Hurley mentioned during the interview:

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
73 Questions with Greta Gerwig
Laura Lee Smith’s blog
Subtle Maneuvers by

Bad Conditions for Writing (Hurley’s favorite piece she ever wrote)
The Morning Writing Club by Chelsea Hodson
‘Substack Grow’ Material

Mind Of A Writer
Mind Of A Writer Podcast
A podcast about writing and how to grow on Substack, featuring interviews with Subtack's most popular creators.