by M.L. Buchman
We're in the depths of our tax season. Everyone's whining about them. My accountant called in desperation for three additional numbers he needed. He probably hasn't slept in two months, so it's hard to be upset by the desperation aspect. A friend has decided that starting five new businesses in overlapping segments of the market may have made sense in 2012, but certainly doesn't during tax time of 2013. (The businesses aren't the problem, it's the tax work that's making him grumpy... We're all avoiding him this week.)
My plan? Focus forward. I finally learned, after many harrowing years, long extensions and poor calculations (on my part), to turn my taxes into an accountant on the very first day I have all of the information, around February 5th. Whew! Glad to be done with that.
Why especially? So that I can focus forward. I used to let the prior year dribble 2,3,4,5,6,7.... months into the following year. So, then what am I thinking about? Last year! I'd do that with the tail end of projects as well. Now I finish them as thoroughly and quickly as I can. Me? I'm looking ahead.
Right now I'm entering my third month as a full-time writer. And here's a report on what that's like:
Month 1: Cut expenses, cut expenses, cut expenses.
Dump the house that we can't afford to live in and had rented out for far too little money. Move to somewhere significantly cheaper. Get rid of all that crap (then we don't have to pay to move it or have a bigger place so that we can keep it.) Plan to live cheaper in every aspect. Sell a car that we don't really need. Anything to cut down.
Month 1-2 Interlude: Clean up the past.
I took ugly covers, updated them. I found indie pub channels that I liked, I published to them. I found indie pub channels that I had always been meaning to check out, but ultimately didn't feel they were worth the effort for me at this time. I had eight indie-pub novels and we dug through them to make sure they were as clean and well presented as we could (my wife is AWESOME! and helped a lot with that).
Month 2: Start writing.
It was still pretty jinky, bits of the past kept leaping out of closets and trying to tackle me. Being only so quick on my feet, I get hammered to the ground more than I'd like to admit. But, that old Japanese proverb kicks in, "Fall down 7 times get up 8."
This last 2 weeks, I did as much writing as I normally did in 2 months. Now that is really exciting. That's the key to my plan from here on out.
M.L. Buchman's military romantic suspense was named Top 5 Romance of 2012 by NPR. The next novel in his contemporary romance series "Angelo's Hearth" will be out in mid-April. He also writes fantasy under Matthew Lieber Buchman and has a foodie thriller as Matthew J. Booker.