Right Brain, Left Brain, and Robot Brain — Threefold approach to authorship

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As writers, we are aware of our right-brainness. This is where creativity thrives. This makes up the core of our authorship, our writing. It is where passions scale mountains or traverse deserts and oceans.

Then there is the left-brainness. Logic and reason reside here, enabling the thinking through and wise choosing from various choices. It is very good for marketing and promoting your writing.

Have you considered a third part to your writing brain, one which connects the former two? I call it robot-brainness. This part of your thinking links passion and logic together. It is neither full of emotion, nor without. This part catapults thoughts forward by logic in order to give your passion purpose. (A+B, therefore C.) For instance, going beyond the writing, and through publication and into the world of C: promoting and marketing.

I used to be only right-brained. Oh, writing was such hard work. I don’t belittle that. It truly is. But today’s writer needs to be more than just a writer. She needs also to be be a business woman.

Write. Publish. Market. And repeat for every book inside of you.

The Writer’s Journey – Baby Steps

The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler is a terrific craft book for writers on characters and plot. My own Writer’s Journey is made up of more mundane baby steps.

I am presently in revision mode. It’s not that I’ve finished this third book in the series yet, which is what (finishing your rough draft) is highly recommended, but it’s been a while since I’ve worked on it.

So I reread what I wrote. Then I naturally revise or rewrite what I wrote. This process takes me about an hour per chapter, and were I to go back over it for another look, I’d still find ways to improve the writing. I’m certain I could revise much faster if I were going through it one point at a time, e.g., finding any missed passive voices, or reading through for plot inconsistencies only. But I need to finish the entire story first.

So today’s baby step in writing is revising chapter by chapter until the words start to blur.

I force a few real life steps at the conclusion of each chapter – stretch those ole legs every hour, rip out a few weeds while I walk around the yard, grab a fresh cup of tea, then dive back in.

I want to scream, “UGH! This is so hard!” But my tea’s ready, so I must return.

Baby steps. One step at a time. One chapter or scene at a time.

TAXES (for and by writers) (You can do it!)

Two years ago I started my own publishing house because several writers I knew had done it and praised doing it. What they didn’t talk about was, well, lots of the pitfalls of owning your own business, but mostly no one spoke of…TAXES. (Da-da-daaaaah!)

Until last year, I’d never filed income tax in my life. Let me amend that:

Until I graduated from college, my daddy filed my income taxes; when I was single and teaching, I dumped all my tax info to a tax person who figured it all out for me; and when I got married, my husband filed our joint taxes. So it wasn’t until I was in my 60’s (!) that I filed taxes, by myself, for the first time ever, for my new writing business.

I have to admit that I dreaded the thought of doing taxes. I was terrified of it. What if I did something wrong? Would the government swoop down upon me and fine me for an error I missed or for something I forgot or for something didn’t understand? I mean, taxes on my earnings have been filed my entire life. It wasn’t like I was avoiding them (like some people nominated to political offices; oh, let’s not go there). I was just nervous about making a mistake. Yes, that’s true, but I was even more concerned that I was too stupid to figure out this government form which every American citizen needs to file, every year.

Guess what? I’m smart!

Even with all the record keeping necessary with running a business (buying and selling books, advertizing, traveling, etc.), filing taxes is more about time consumption than doing it wrong. With everything available on-line, tax time is good. Well, do-able. Just make sure you remember from year to year tiny details, like you want a Schedule C form for a small LLC business, not a Section C form for deporting aliens. It’s the tiny details which can confuse.

My tax filing suggestions for writers:

1) Keep accurate and records. I keep a monthly hand-written log of expenses and income and giveaways. I also have a zip-lock bag I keep for the year’s receipts — upon which I write what the purchase was for on the top of the slip before putting it into the bag.

2) Download the right tax form. 🙂

3) Don’t be afraid. Take a deep breath and focus on your task.

4) Read the line-by-line instructions, one section at a time.