Writing as a Business, Pt. 1

We usually think of writing as an art – we spend countless hours dreaming up poems, characters, lines, settings, and a million other things that make writing such a difficult craft.

But if you plan to publish or otherwise share your work as an author, even if you don’t plan to write for a living, you are crossing over the line into business and commerce.

Most writers, like myself, at any stage of their practice, don’t think about the economic aspects of their work, and I think that has been a disadvantage to me.

And I don’t want it to be a disadvantage to you.

Most of us would continue to write even if we never got paid a lick for any of it, but since we live in the real world, we might as well know something about finances so that we can make the most of what we do. After all, writing takes more than time. It takes resources, even Henry David Thoreau’s bare Walden necessities like food, shelter, and fuel. And resources is what economics is all about.

I’ve been writing about my marketing journey as an author, which you can start reading by clicking the link, but that is just one expense in a universe of assets and liabilities.

Over the course of this series, I hope to tackle the various business aspects of being a writer that I’ve encountered and about which I’ve learned hard lessons. These include:

  • Accounting: keeping track of your income and expenses, as well as inventory
  • Taxes: how to present your work as an author to the IRS as a business and get the most out of any tax deductions you are owed
  • Advertising: spending the word about your work
  • Assets and inventory: essential purchases authors need to make
  • Borrowing: how to finance your expenses to expand your operation as a writer
  • How best to spend the money you make

These are just a sampling of the topics I want to address to help myself and you, the writer, to explore how get a handle on your finances, know what resources are available to you, and to get help when you need it.

How and when did you learned that writing as a business as well as creative venture? Leave a comment below!

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