Friday, February 21, 2014

The writing life

A previous title given new life
One of my projects these days
Got my income tax "stuff" back from my accountant today. I don't wish to discuss how much I have to pay--it's too much to me, though I'm glad to pay my fair share. But what sent me over the moon was that I made a profit on my writing this year. Don't laugh--lots of writers file a Form C or whatever showing a deficit for years and years. Mine was probably less than a tenth of my total income if that much--not enough to live on, but proof to me that I'm headed in the right direction, and I'm doing a happy dance tonight. It's strange though to think I'm starting a burgeoning career in my seventies, and every once in a while I have a fleeting thought about how long I can keep this up. "At my back I always hear times winged chariot hurrying near." Well, not quite--for my age, I'm think I'm healthy and lively, though I know there are things I used to do that I can't do now.
At any rate, earning that non-living wage keeps me busy with deadlines (some self-imposed) all the time. I laugh looking back at the days, probably forty years ago, when I'd say to myself, "I'd write if I knew what to write about." No problem these days, as ideas and plots are popping in my brain all the time. What I need to do is learn to write them down before they escape.
I'm working on a novel I intend to self publish--ebook and print--and I sent it to a proofreader who said she loved it and hoped I'd turn it into a series. Do you think she says that to everyone? At any rate, I immediately knew who the victim was in the next book--but I have at least one, maybe two books to write before that one.
But I am also determined not to let this born-again career swallow me. Yes, I work at home most nights; yes, I try to keep my mornings clear so I can work. But I want to continue to schedule lunch and dinner dates, to get out in the world. A dear friend has just moved back to Fort Worth, and she has great plans for us to walk daily and to go to art exhibits. I'm going to do those things. Tonight I had a delightful supper with another old friend--and I look forward to many more dinners with friends.
I know of authors who first thing every morning check their sales. First of all, because most of my books are with publishers, I don't have instant access to that information. But even if I did, I don't think I'd look. Nor do I want to be bothered with every new promotional activity that comes down the pike. I do what I can, what makes sense for me to me, and then I let it go.
And one more thing: I want to read more than I have been. While waiting for my car at the car wash, I started a new cozy mystery today--Tracy Weber's Murder Strikes a Pose (A Downward Dog Mystery) and I want to finish it. And I'm having company Sunday night--I want to cook.
In other words, I love this new post-retirement career, but I also want to live a full life and not become a writing recluse. Hmmm....they're some friends I haven't had lunch with in a while. Think I'll send them an email.

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