Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Sunday, October 05, 2014

A change in expenses available for writing and author stuff

Recently, I lost a part-time gig that was bringing in extra income for the family. Because my financial situation has changed, I needed to find something else that was now going to support my writing.

How exactly has my financial situation changed?

Up until this month, I was taking money out of my monthly income to help support my writing. This kind of support was in the form of:

1. Hiring an editor for the poetry books I self-published
2. Hiring a cover designer for same books

3. Hiring an illustrator for the children's books I self-pubbed
4. Paying for a virtual book tour
5. Purchasing print copies of books
6. Shipping books to people they needed to go to
7. Print fee for books I wanted to have available in print
8. Ordering proofs of books I was self-pubbing
9. Paying contributors (a pending expense I have coming up)

It seemed like there were expenses every month related to those things, and to pay for all of that, I had set aside a certain amount of money from my personal monthly income every month. This was something which I felt I was able to do because my husband is the main breadwinner in the family (he earns more than I do) and I was working a part-time job to cover any extra expenses we had in the family. (Those things always turned up!) However, the amount I set aside each month for writing was more than what I earned with the part-time thing. After my dog became sick and died, I realized that I was probably doing this backwards. I could’ve used the money from my so-called "book budget" to take him to the vet or something. Yes, the guilt was harsh and I really struggled with it.

But it made me open my eyes. It made me see what I was doing wrong.

I have realized that I can no longer use my personal monthly income for writing-related expenses. I have to use that money for my family. It has to go back into supporting us just as the rest of that income does.

As for a source of income to support my writing? I will use what I earn from part-time gigs for all of that, as well as any royalties that I earn or money earned from in-person book sales. It’ll all support certain things I’ll need to pay for as a writer, author and self-publisher/publisher. This means I won't be self-publishing poetry or children's books as often as I did before, as well as delays in getting books into print.

I am hoping I will find that new source of writing income real soon. I thought I found it when I landed a ghostwriting gig, but I’m having trouble getting paid for my work so I am questioning if this gig is even solid. I do have things I need to do now – I have to ship about a dozen copies of a certain book to people – so I have been trying to find something to cover that as soon as I can. I DO hope I get paid for the ghostwriting job I just completed, but if not, it’s back to checking out the job boards again until something comes up.

And I must say that, so far, this recent change with my finances has been good for my family. I think I’ll keep it.



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