Meghan Linsey can feel her hard work paying off. Formerly one-half of award-winning country duo Steel Magnolia, Linsey released a solo EP earlier this year, and she hints that there's more coming very soon.

"I have a big secret I can't tell you," she tells The Boot. "I am working on stuff ... it's just stuff that I can't announce yet."

But here's a hint: Linsey says she'll be spending the last few weeks of 2014 working on new music, and she hopes to be able to share her secret early next year.

Her fans will no doubt be excited. Through a PledgeMusic campaign, many of them helped fund Linsey's recent EP, a project the songstress says was a great success.

"I'm an indie artist now, and I just thought it was a really good way to ... raise money to make the EP, and then also be able to engage the fans," Linsey says. "It allowed me to kind of gauge where I'm at as a solo artist and realize that the fans are still with me, which has been really great."

Going solo and doing it without a major label (Steel Magnolia were on Big Machine) has taken some getting used to. Linsey says being an independent artist has its pluses and minuses.

"It's definitely given me a lot of freedom to explore ... So that has been great, the freedom is awesome," she says. On the flip side, "I have a team of, like, three people, including me, that's doing everything all the time, so it's definitely a little challenging at times. I feel like I'm wearing a lot of hats."

Having to DIY isn't necessarily a bad thing, though.

"I feel like I'm constantly learning, and I'm constantly amazed at how much I don't know, which is good," Linsey says. "I feel like I have a greater appreciation for everything that everyone puts in ... Everybody at the label, you know, when they were doing all this stuff, I just didn't have a clue of exactly what went into all of that.

"I think it's a good lesson to learn," she adds. "I think every artist should have to do everything for themselves at one point or another."

Linsey has some familiar names in her corner as well: James Otto was one of the co-writers on her latest single, 'Try Harder Than That,' and Bubba Sparxxx raps on the track, thanks to an introduction from the song's other co-writer, Corey Crowder. The tune and its video poke fun at the "bro-country" cliches that are so prevalent at country radio right now.

"I was super-excited about it. I like sassy songs," Linsey says. "I think women love it. I'm sure guys get a kick out of it too, but I think women respond well to it and think it's funny."

But for as upbeat and goofy as the song and music video are, they speak to what Linsey sees as a larger issue in the genre.

"I think it's really hard to be a woman in country music," she says. "I think people are just putting out fluff, and I think that has to change at some point, and it will.

"I just think women do have a lot to say. I just think somewhere in the process, it gets watered down, and I think that it's kind of a shame," she adds. "I just think that the industry needs to support women and let us be loud and sassy and have a voice."

Still, Linsey says she feels good about what's in store for her.

"I feel good about the work that I've put in and where we're at," she says. "It's never been easy for me, ever, but at the end of the day, I think you appreciate it more, so I'm looking forward to reaping some of the rewards of all the hard work I've put in."