Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Business or Pleasure

As a writer it is sometimes hard to think about what you do as a business. There always seems to be some unseen, unspoken line between commercialism and art, but never more than in the writing arena. It's a place where artists look down upon anyone mentioning anyone who talks about the money as a sell-out, and seems to hold aloft those that eek by as true artists.

Sometimes I think that's a myth perpetrated by the publishing houses so that they can get away with paying slave wages to the most of their writers while a few rake in millions--after all, there have to be a few to make the dreams for the many who will never achieve such heights.

The bottom line, though, is that even writers have to pay rent, mortgages, car payments, utility bills and buy food. The amount of money you make isn't really the reason you need to treat your writing like a business, however.

You may never need to get business funding, however you may need to apply for a loan on a house, new car or even in some cases cable internet. You need something that shows you are a self-employed business person.

You also have to show the IRS you are a serious business and writing isn't just a hobby. So it is important to treat your work as a business. Save receipts and keep records of submissions even when they get rejects. The act of submission is a business act that shows you are in earnest.