My drug of choice is writing––writing, art, reading, inspiration, books, creativity, process, craft, blogging, grammar, linguistics, and did I mention writing?

Saturday, December 2, 2017

On The Business of Writing for the Non Famous Writer

Deduct THIS!
Oh, wait. You can't. Never mind.
I could write easily write a rant about last night's tax scam bill in the Senate. (In fact I wrote several on my personal Facebook wall.)

However, I don't want the dudebros or squiddies to cry that I just talked about Net Neutrality and this blog was just peachy until I "got all political" or something. Because getting political is totally a recent development and is in no way a regular thing.

So here is what I will say: Writers, and all artists really, regardless of what side of the aisle they are on–whether they thought last night was a stick-it-in-those-whiny-snowflake's-FACE caliber victory or if they're out today comparison shopping guillotine oil–should be paying close attention to the tax bill and whatever form it ultimately takes.

Because for an American writer who isn't just a household name and swimming in movie deals, the tax plan as it is is going to cost us. And even if the ten years of cloudless sky predictions end up boosting the economy exactly as Republican lawmakers assure us it will (because what does the CBO know, really?), we will all have to be much more careful how we budget.

See, the individual write offs are going away, so for a writer who typically declares their office, their computer, their research books, classes, whatever, those will no longer be deductions. You'll have to pay taxes on the money you spend on that just like if you used it to buy MDMA and a swirly light disco ball.

Personally, even though my "office" is about a third of my bedroom and my book budget for writing books is less than most people spend on cereal in a year, I stand to lose somewhere around $500. (Just to give you some perspective my last refund was about $500. Even my English major ass could do the math.) Not a trivial amount when I end most bill paying sessions each month with double digits of discretionary income. And for artists who need lots of art supplies or have more significant business expenses trying to sell their work, that number will only go up.

So stay in touch with your representatives, and don't let them forget they work for you. And keep your eye on that ball if you are in the U.S. and want to be a writer–even if you think this is the greatest tax plan since the robber barons.

It is almost certain to affect you.

ON THE OTHER HAND–if you are more on the "Support Artists" side, it's likely that pretty soon we're going to need your help more than ever before. Find an artist you love and spend some money on their art, or kickstarter, or whatever.
One way you can help THIS artist is with a small recurring donation to MY PATREON.

It doesn't have to be a big donation. As much as I absolutely love to bits my high ticket donors and patron muses, (and kind of couldn't be doing this without them) if life happens to one of them, I could be out 10% of my income just like that. [*Instructions: snap fingers now*] I'm also hoping for a solid support of one, five, and maybe even ten dollar donors that isn't so vulnerable.

Plus there are totally rewards! Everything from back channel polls and conversations with other patrons to extra selfies to signed shit and tutoring sessions.

Of course if a recurring donation is not in the cards, a one time donation can be given through the conspicuously placed tip jar or Venmo (my email is chris.brecheen@gmail.com).  And those who want to support but are not in the financial spot to do so, we can always use social media proliferation (likes, comments, shares) and maybe even just dropping a kind word or three. We usually only hear the bad stuff.


  1. Have you given some thought to forming your own company? This is the way I went nearly 40 years ago. Sure it's a bit of a hassle, some more paperwork, etc. But if only for the sake of personal vs. corporate liability, it might be A Good Thing. Maybe even get some more writers/image artists/what have you to join in so as to share the setup costs? But then, I'm from Canada, so what do I know…

    1. I might look into this if things keep going the way they're going now.