Business or Pleasure?

Four years ago I started deducting my writing expenses on my taxes.  I’ve been writing a lot longer than that, and keeping my receipts, but my CPA discouraged me from doing it until I started making sales.  He wanted to protect me from having to prove to the IRS that I was approaching writing as a business, not a hobby.

I’m not writing today about the IRS and meeting that burden of proof.  A recent issue of the Romance Writers Report discussed that far better than I can.  I’m thinking about what it means to really take yourself seriously as a writer, especially when the sales are far and few between.

There’s lot’s of advice out there about how to be business-like.  But what keeps us going?  What keeps us not only writing our “little stories” but continuing to submit and collect rejections?  Is it nothing more than the gambler’s addiction to intermittent reinforcement?

Friend and fellow writer Jill Knowles once said that regardless of our income we’re rich — because we have a dream.  Maybe that’s the answer.  We are modern day shamans who dream another world — a world where our stories matter.

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