Tuesday, January 9, 2018

The writer in the new year

January 9, 2018

When I embarked on this so-called writing career, there were a few things of which I was unaware. Yes, it's true. I was the perfect example of the neophyte. I was lucky enough to get some good advice early on, and perhaps I should recount that here for posterity. It's really quite simple: keep track of everything you do. 

Welcome to 2018 and the blank spreadsheet! 

With the arrival of January, it's time to close out the last year's spreadsheets. I have spreadsheets for everything. It's ridiculous but necessary. 

Taxes. I have individual folders for each tax year and a spreadsheet summary on all income and expenses for each year. It makes filing the annual tax return a lot easier. 

Activity. Speaking of taxes, I may one day need to prove I actually "participated" in the business I report income and expenses on. I have a spreadsheet with book names, dates, word count progress, completion date, upload to the .com date, and release date. 

Sales. I have a spreadsheet to track the number of copies sold per book and the income per book. This is also handy at tax time but mostly it's because I think it's important to know these things. 

Backup your work. It's January so I have a new jump drive (memory stick, flash drive, whatever you prefer to call it). I keep the old ones in a little box just in case something fucking weird should happen. 

Ideas. I have a spreadsheet with possible titles and possible character names. The best titles come to me while I'm driving. I've actually called home to ask Himself to write down a title for me so I don't forget it by the time I get to my computer. 

Who, in the beginning, knew writing was a business? Not me. But you know what? It's sort of a mood booster to look back over those spreadsheets at the beginning of a new year and pause for a moment. Looking at the data can bring to mind specific moments in the evolution of each creation, a snapshot only the author can see. 

Rather than inciting me to rest on my laurels, they send me forward to the next story. I will make the first wordcount entry on a new spreadsheet and feel as though I've accomplished something that binds my past, present, and future as a whole. 

I like that. 

KC Kendricks

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