Thursday, March 14, 2013

Doing Business by Terry Burns

It isn’t something writers want to do.

Writers want to write. We really don’t want to have to do the business end. We don’t want to have to do proposals and pitches, work on marketing and marketing plans, we really would rather hole up in a cabin up in the mountains and just write. We’d rather somebody else do the business for us.

And we sure don’t want to have to do our taxes.

I’m usually not one that waits so late in the game to do mine. Yes, I do my own. I was an accounting major in college and I took tax accounting. I feel like my education is wasted if I don’t do it. However, these days I do use Turbo-Tax software and that makes it easier.

It’s more than the anguish of having to do the complicated calculations, more than having to pay out the money. It’s an unvarnished look at how professional we are. Right there in black and white is the money I made from my various writing (and agent) endeavors. Was the year a success? Was I a success?

In a profession where the income can come in sporadically but expenses seem to come due as regular as the ticking of a clock, evaluating our progress during the year can be like taking a series of snapshots and putting them together to get an idea of progress. But when tax time rolls around the year comes into clear focus.

I hope when each of you look at the year in review that you are happy with the results. As for mine? Well, I’ll let you know, but right now . . .

I have to quit talking about this and do my taxes.


Walt Mussell said...

One of my degrees is in accounting. I used to do our taxes by hand but finally convinced my wife a few years ago that Turbo Tax was necessary for my sanity.

Terry Burns said...

I could do it without the software but it has all the forms, makes me feel a little better that I'm not overlooking anything major and makes it easy to file.