Thursday, May 1, 2014

Writing, a *Taxing* Avocation -- Not!

In our profile, we write, "By day, Kym is a graphic artist, Mark a teacher. By night, we're caped crusa-- er, we're writers." And that's the way we like it.

We like the security of a paycheck, and it somehow helps the creative juices flow better when they're not submerged beneath the current of *needing* to make a buck through our writing

That doesn't mean we don't take our writing seriously -- particularly during tax time, which we've just finished preparing this past month as conscientious citizens in the US of A. Gotta play by the rules: We register our name, "Write in the Thick of Things," as an official entity, have letterhead stationary, biz cards, and all the other formal accoutrements. Plus, we maintain the requisite faces on blog, Twitter,  Facebook, and Goodreads -- all to legitimize our status, our alter egos.

Like any serious writers, we also cull through our receipts to find anything we can declare that has a bearing on our writing business for possible tax deductions. And just having finished that little exercise, we realize just how much fun we're having as avocational authors.

For the Silverville Saga Series, we wrote various scenes that take place in New York City, in the Yucatan, in Berlin -- not mention in Silverville. But the fun part was visiting those locales and consequently making those trips -- you guessed it -- largely tax-deductable.

And don't get us started on our book-buying expenses -- er, deductions. We almost (again, almost) feel guilty for calling our reading habits "research" expense. But we do. We never crack a book or touch-flip a screen (and how about those e-readers!) without adding our books to the tally. After all, ya gotta stay on top of the trends -- especially the escapist literature trends.

But there's other legitimate research we engage in to enhance our literary flourishes. Since a number of our (own) books involve either express or implied extra-terrestrials, we decided to embrace that culture, becoming trained Field Investigators for MUFON (the Mutual UFO Network). Okay, we've taken that job to heart and we never divulge confidences or specific accounts from our investigations, but we nonetheless use those investigations to fuel insights that range from bizarre sightings to the (sometimes) bizarre personalities involved in many such "encounters." Hey, it's all research for our writing.

And we don't stop there. Our deductibles have amassed inside categories that include telescopes, forensic tools, training seminars, field investigation expenses, training conferences, and trips to interview witnesses or investigate sites.

And yep, you better believe we make sure it's all on our little itemized expenses ledger under the title of "writing business research."

Our latest two writing projects have moved us in an entirely new direction involving the paranormal: ghostly apparitions: The fourth book in the Silverville Saga is a ghost story, but along the way, we've decided to work on a travelogue of area haunted hotels for our publisher. We're capturing two ghosts for the price of one research project.

Can't wait to start adding up the deductibles for the cool ghost-busting gadgets we're gonna start collecting!