I promised myself I would write for an hour a day, before I did anything else for other people. It is truly amazing the number of things that have to be done before I can manage to convince myself it's okay to spend that hour writing for me. Already today I have done dishes, laundry, went to three different grocery stores to buy all the cool little organic things I've gotten attached to.
And of course I fed the pets, took the dogs for a walk, gave them a bath. And then of course I had to clean up the kitchen sink, clean up the bathroom floor, wipe down the counters, add to the recycling, clean out the car – wait a minute. Could it be? Could I be in stall mode? Just because it's 3:30 and I haven't done a thing…
So I'm going to start working on a number of different blogs that I have blocked out in the last few weeks as I frantically tried to meet multiple deadlines. I met them all, by the way. If you're going to work for yourself, you'd better damn well get it right all the way down the line. You need to go above and beyond the expectations of your clients or they won't come back. And you need repeat business, or you just waste all your time doing marketing.
Anyway, I keep a notebook beside me and as I am working, if an idea for an article comes to me, I jot down notes about it. This way, I don't forget my ideas, but I also don't miss the deadlines my clients are counting on.
Ken says I spend too much time working for other people and not enough time working on my own writing. And maybe that's true, and maybe sometime in the future when I make a lot more money on my part time job as an editor, I can concentrate more on my writing. But right now I'm new to all this and I'm afraid to only concentrate on the creative stuff. I want to make a living. More than that, I want to be comfortable. I don't want to have to worry about whether I can pay my student loans or whether I have to move money from Peter to pay Paul. And I also want to do all those little things like going out to dinner or sending people gifts when something special happens in their lives.
When I first started this business, I also ran into a little problem because no one bothered to mention to me that retirement income is taxable. I don't know why, after all the many people I talked to in my office at UF, in the payroll department at UF, in the HR department at UF, in the state of Florida HR office in Tallahassee, etc. etc., that no one bothered to mention that I should be taking taxes out of my retirement. I read all the information about it, and I swear I don't remember seeing anything about retirement income being taxable. I guess if you're in the 1%, you don't have to worry about this. But suddenly I was faced with a huge tax hit that I did not have.
My accountant is a personal friend. He is wonderful. He kept pushing me and pushing me to find really good legitimate deductions that I would never have thought up myself. I have a home office – I never would have deducted that. But John was able to help me keep my tax bill down and still do everything completely by the book. There were some things he suggested that I said forget it.
I didn't want to put mileage down for anything, even if it was to meet someone for lunch to discuss a job. I didn't want to put down that lunch. I don't like to be beholden to Uncle Sam. I like to pay my fair share of taxes and contribute whatever I can to the governance of this country. I don't want Uncle Sam to come back and say this is not fair and that is not right. So I refuse to take any deduction that might be the least bit unusual. And yes, I know I'm a little obsessive about being honest. And yes I know other people take those deductions all the time. And yes I know I will never be rich. Oh well.
So after a marathon month of hard work to pay off Uncle Sugar and my darling accountant, I am now back to a relatively normal workload, i.e., much more than I want but I am grateful for the hours. I don't have to work 14 hours a day right now – at least not for other people. So now is the time to work for myself a little bit. No stalling. She says. She says...