Monday, February 27, 2012

Finished with taxes: back to writing! (with a plug for my book)

My muse suddenly appeared in my living room where I was dusting, making me shriek with surprise. She was dressed like a jewel adorned Marie Laveau, complete with multicolored Mardi Gras beads.

"Is it true? Are you finished with your taxes?" she asked.

"Look at you. How was Mardi Gras?"

"Great. Wonderful. Tons of fun. Don't deflect the question. Are you finished?"

Setting my dusting cloth on the table, I said, "Yes. I'm finished. Well... mostly."


"I still have to go to HR Block and get the forms filled out, but I'm finished with my part: the receipts and a profit/loss statement."

"Then you're done!"


"Thank all the goddesses!" She spun around in a happy little circle, making the beads swish and clatter as they rubbed together. A few sparkling strands fell onto the floor.

I laughed. "I guess you're happy."

"Happy? Happy?" She grabbed my hands and swung me around until we were both laughing and dizzy like two small children on the play ground. Then we plopped on the couch to catch our breaths.

Adjusting a few errant strands of beads, my muse said, "Does that mean we can get back to your play?"


She sighed deeply, as if she was smelling a field of wild roses. "At last." Then she jumped up, grabbed my hand, and hauled me to standing. "Come on! We have work to do."

As she pulled me toward the bedroom where my laptop waited,  I asked, "Now?"

"Yes now."

"But what about the dusting?"

"Dusting can wait. Writing is more important."

No wonder my house is always a mess.


In Jan 2009 I wrote a post explaining what a Profit and Loss statement is. 

And what is a Profit and Loss Statement? In a nutshell, a profit and loss statement is the end of the year report of your business that shows how much you've earned (profit) and how much you spent (lost). This is what you need to show the IRS when you file your taxes, as well as show your city for you business license, your bank when you need a loan, or anyone else who needs proof that you really do have a business and didn't just put up a pretty sign that says so. 

For more detailed information about record keeping and managing your writing and publishing business, get my book, What You Need to Know to Be a Pro: The Business Start-Up guide for Publishers, available from Amazon, Powells, and your local bookstore (coming soon as an E-Book and to the Kindle)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Receipts and Whiney Muses

"I'm bored," my Muse whines. "When will you be finished?"

"Taxes take time. I have to get this right," I say.

"But you're not doing your taxes yet. You're just totaling receipts."

"These receipts tell me how much money Medusa's Muse has earned."

"And lost." She slumps into a chair.

I scowl at her. "Thanks for fixating on the losses."

"This year hasn't exactly been booming for your press."

"That will change."

"You say that every year."

Ignoring her, I focus on the pile of receipts again. Does the receipt for photocopies go in the supplies pile or the promotion pile?

My muse kicks my chair. "This press of yours is sucking more than money. It's sucking your creative energy."

I sigh. "Why do you do this every year?"

"Do what?"

"Bitch and moan about the press every time I have to do bookkeeping?"

"Because there is nothing creative about bookkeeping."

"True, there isn't. But to be creative I need to also be pragmatic. Bookkeeping keeps the lights on."

"But it takes too long. Why not hire someone?"

"Because that would take money, which you so kindly pointed out I don't have."

She crosses her arms and sulks. "I hate this part of publishing."

"Everyone does."

"During the Renaissance, you would have had a patron to take care of all those incidentals. He would have paid your taxes and provided you food and shelter, clothing and entertainment. All of your needs would have been taken care of, simply so you could create brilliant works of art."

"Talk to Rick." I clip a stack of receipts together and then label them postage.

"Don't you want to take a break and work on your play?"

"Yes, I do, but I have to get this done first."


Swiveling in my chair to face her, I snap, "If you don't stop interrupting me I'll never get this done, which means I'll never get to work on my play."

She regally stands, looks at me, and in a calm voice says, "Don't forget you have a deadline on your play. You told UPT you'd finish the rewrites this week."

"I know."

"I'll leave you to it then." With a toss of her snake tresses, she softly walks from the room.


Where was I? Crap, I know I have more receipts for travel. Where's the one from the dinner in October?