The Mad Author
Jean Tennant


Posted Friday, April 22, 2011, at 10:48 AM
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  • Yes a space, a simple quiet space, but please do not lower the lid... So on with the block-out-head phones and the sign on the door, 'BACK AFTER LUNCH.'The family can see me through the glass door as my mind goes 'to lunch.'

    -- Posted by wordgardener on Sun, Apr 24, 2011, at 11:49 PM
  • I like to work in public places. I seem to thrive on chaos around me, and one of my favorite spots is Carrol's Bakery, fueled my endless cups of coffee. The main problem i have when I write in public is that people tend to ask 'what are ya writing, a book?' If i dare say yes, then the curious don't at all mind asking more about it... and out the window goes my concentration.

    -- Posted by DHarris on Wed, Apr 27, 2011, at 7:34 AM
  • Is it true that if you have a home office you can deduct the cost on your taxes, as a business expense? How does that work if you're not actually selling anything?

    -- Posted by farmergirl.sp on Thu, Apr 28, 2011, at 10:14 AM
  • Yes, farmergirl.sp, if you have a home office it is tax deductible to you, as a freelance writer. But I want to stress - Talk to your tax preparer about this.

    That said, if you are making sincere efforts to get your work published, you are a freelance writer and your home office allows you to deduct a percentage of your mortgage/rent, property taxes, utilities, etc. But it must be a separate room that you use exclusively for writing. It cannot be, say, a partitioned-off corner of your family room. (And no, the table you regularly use at Starbucks does not count.)

    Last time I checked, you had 3 years to make money from your writing to keep this deduction. If, in 3 years' time you haven't sold anything, you lose the deduction and it becomes a hobby. But if you really put your mind to it, you should be able to sell something - an article to a small magazine or local newspaper - in that time.

    Your deductions also include the paper and envelopes you buy, postage stamps to mail your work out, a percentage of your computer and printer, printer ink cartridgese (expensive!) and all those other expenses that go along with the pursuit of your craft.

    But again, I urge you - TALK TO YOUR TAX PREPARER about it.

    -- Posted by JTennant on Fri, Apr 29, 2011, at 6:00 AM
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