2015-01-04

The Writing has begun

Hello 2015!

I've not only settled on my next project, but it will provide me with about 3 years of work. This long-range project involves the following activities:

  1. A small rewrite of Dragonverse to bring it up to my current standards as well as to clean up the plot.
  2. A similar rewrite of Ishnef's Revenge.
  3. Write a new novel titled Dragonverse Origins. The story begins in our distant past and shows how our myths about dragons and wizards came to be. It will also establish a tentative link to one of my stand-alone novels.
  4. Go over the stand-alone novel to make sure it conforms to current standards.
  5. Write the book that completely and firmly ties it all together. This will be a military science fiction novel with battles and all the good stuff we military SF people love. The premise for this book is: How do you destroy a nearly indestructible warship?
  6. Write another story that's firmly in the realm of Dragonverse but has a serious scifi twist. I'm thinking of calling this one Dragonverse collides with Humanverse but don't hold me to that title. It could also be named The Children of Dragonverse or Dragonbound.
This entire process should take around 3 years.

I'm already about 1/3 of the way through my re-edit of Dragonverse and things are looking really good. I'm enjoying this since I love dragons.

My Goodreads Giveaway is not yet live--I'm waiting on approval from the Goodreads team. When it's live, I will include a link to it in this blog.

Tax season will soon be upon us and it's time for me to begin mentioning some important tax items for writers. First up (and this is a new one for me): if you plan on making money as a writer (and who doesn't) then you should apply for an Employee Identification Number (or EIN) from the IRS. There's a good reason for this. If you don't, you will have to include your SSN on all your writing-related tax forms such as contracts with publishers, Amazon, Smashwords, CreateSpace, magazines, and any employees you might need to hire such as editors, artists, etc. That means your SSN is being widely distributed--not a good idea. Getting an EIN, even if you have no employees, is more secure. You use your EIN in place of your SSN. The process is simple and instant. To get an EIN right now go to the IRS website and apply for one.

Another thing writers should do is to perform an end of year reconciliation. Make sure all your documents are in order and you are lined up to get all the tax breaks you deserve. If you claim mileage (you must have a home office to do so) you should have recorded the starting miles on your vehicles as well as the ending miles. The IRS forms don't seem to allow for more than one vehicle but there is a work-around. We own two cars. I keep detailed records showing the starting and ending mileage and which vehicle I'm driving when I use a car for my writing business. At the end of the year, I just add up all the miles. The IRS also wants to know how many total miles have been driven. That's easy--at the beginning of each year I record the mileage on all my cars. A simple subtraction gives me the number of miles driven with each vehicle and I just add these up for the IRS. If you keep detailed records, this will not be a problem.

How do you remember to do all this? That's even easier. I use Google calendar to track a lot of my business-related activities and I use the calendar's built-in reminders to remind me to do things like record mileage, send off estimated taxes, etc. I have an Android phone so the calendar automatically syncs to my phone, tablet, and all my computers. If you put in everything you need to be reminded to do in the calendar, you will never forget to do anything. There are other applications that would work just as well. One of the most popular is Evernote. If you want to learn about Evernote and how it can be used in your business, you should check out Jamie Todd Rubin's website. I met Jamie at the 2013 Launch Pad. His website is filled with useful ideas on how to automate your life. If you're a computer geek you should definitely check out his site.

I will be posting more about how a writer should be preparing for tax season in my next post. In the meantime--I've got some writing to do.....