Bean counting


January joy – I have been attempting the accounts for my writer-friendly B&B:  “Peacehaven”  You can’t blame a person for plugging her day job, can you?

It’s a slog through all the receipts and expenses to see what I have made. Amongst all the spreadsheet terrors, I’ve been thinking about the profit-and-loss of my writing.

Thus far the only money I have made was from a lovely writing group who came for a seaside awayday here.

On the other side of the financial balance sheet, I have forked out for:

  • MA Creative Writing
  • Winchester Writing Festivals including 1 to 1s
  • SCBWI conferences, workshops, masterclasses
  • GEA workshops, editorials, events
  • dozens of how-to manuals
  • scores of research materials – books, talks, exhibitions

This doesn’t reflect the hours I’ve spent reading blogposts, watching TED talks, taking part in #GEAQA  #askagent and such like.

Not exactly profitable.

“Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen, nineteen  and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.” Mr Micawber

There is a serious general point to this. It is a terrible thought that only the rich and reasonably well-off might be able to pursue a writing career. How can stories reach out to all people if they only come from one small sector of society?

As for my own ledger, I have immeasurable credits to record – none of which would impress a bank manager:

  • an astonishing array of supportive friends, mostly as batty as I am
  • chances to meet and gable on at my literary heroines and heroes
  • inordinate challenges I never thought to tackle
  • growth both literary and personal I had not expected
  • genuine interaction with readers of this blog and my pieces for Words & Pictures,
  • conversations both silly and serious on Twitter and Facebook

Without that balance in my favour I could never have written

  • The 13th Pharaoh
  • Broken Wings and Buraq
  • The Wedding Ghost
  • The Selkies of Scoresby Nab
  • Snowghosts
  • Stonespeaker
  • Wildfell

They might not all be published – yet – but they do mean I can say I am a writer. So when I am at The Big Honk, whether I get any interest from agents – or it’s a fine excuse to dress up and chat #kidlit, I am already well  in credit.




One thought on “Bean counting

  1. Another interesting post. Makes you think. Perhaps it is the old and wealthy who write and the young who get published?

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