BICHOK. If you’re a writer, you may know the acronym. For those of you who don’t, it’s “butt in chair, hands on keyboard”. Simply put, it means quit making excuses, and get back to writing. Post holidays, I’ve been slow to get back into my writing. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been working on it. But my progress has been glacially slow, and to be perfectly honest, I’ve felt less than inspired. It came to a head this last weekend. If you are a member of the RoTaNoWriMo writer’s group on Facebook, you may have seen my post about gathering the numbers for tax season. Since it is a private group though, many of you won’t have seen it. So…
I’ve been gathering the numbers for taxes this weekend, and I’ve been paying special attention to the credit and debit columns that are related to my writing for 2013. There are a few things that this has hammered home for me.
First, 2012 (my first year as a published author) was a fluke. I had an unusually successful year, clearing much more than I had a right to expect. I knew it at the time, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t hope in my heart of hearts for a repeat.
Needless to say, 2013 was nowhere near as successful. Now, my writing did pay for two major trips that I would never have been able to afford otherwise (including a week at WorldCon… W00T!), and I did still end up in the black (barely), but two days of catching up on the paperwork definitely drives home the point that you don’t write because you want to get rich. You write because there is something within that won’t let you NOT write.
So no, I won’t be quitting my day job to follow a lucrative writing deal. At least, not this year.
Of course, there’s always next year!
Yeah, I couldn’t help but be a bit disappointed. But then, on my way to work this morning I heard something that put my year in a little bit better focus…
Anyone who knows me, knows I’m a long time follower of The Dead Robots’ Society podcast. I found them a few years ago and quickly went through every single past episode, soaking up the trials and tribulations of the hosts as they evolved from writing enthusiasts to writing professionals. I learned a lot from them, even as the hosts shuffled in and out. One of the newer hosts, Paul Cooley, is someone I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a few times. He is a horror writer, writing more psychological horror than gore, and he’s really good. I’ve actually gone so far as to get a signed hardback of one of his books, something I VERY seldom spring for, so that tells you how much I like the guy’s writing.
So what’s the big deal about Paul Cooley, you might ask? And what does he have to do with whether or not I had a bad year with my writing? Just this… I was listening to the latest podcast on my way in to work and something Paul said in passing put my Facebook lamentations into perspective. Paul mentioned that one of his goals as a writer is to bring his LLC (Shadow Publications) into the black, because it’s “still deep in the red”.
In other words, one of the guys I consider to be a decent role model in the writing field is struggling just as much as I am. That realization started me to thinking. I need to stop worrying so much about how well or how poorly I’m doing with my writing financially. Instead, I need to count my blessings, put my head down, and get my ass back in gear.
So this is me, BICHOK. Tonight, I knocked out another four or five hundred words on the Chucklers novel. It’s not as much as I would have liked, but it’s progress. I also did a bit of research for an upcoming scene.
Additionally, I’ve been listening to auditions for a narrator for the upcoming Half Past Midnight and Road to Rejas audio books.
And Year 12 (the HPM sequel) planning and note taking has begun. There’s also a new story banging around in my head – something quite different for me… a possible urban fantasy.
So here is my battle cry… If you’re a writer, say it with me…