I was just paying for it.
Not my favorite thing, either. I needed more deductions.
So I asked the tax guy if I could deduct writing expenses. Writing conference fees, travel expenses, the research trip I really need to take for my next book...because I had heard...
Him (sympathetic smile): No, unfortunately, since your writing doesn't bring in any actual income, the government considers it a "working hobby." You know, something you just do for fun.
I think he was trying to be nice.
Me: Fun? Fun? You know what Flannery O'Connor says about that? Check out the quote on the top of my blog! Have you looked at my dental bills?
Me: What time does your office close? 5:00 pm? What time does my laptop close? 2:00 am? Wanna compare hours?
Me: A Hobby? Wanna punch in the face?
Ok, not really. I didn't really say any of that. It wasn't his fault, after all. I went home and punched my pillow in the face. Might have fantasized it was a tax guy.
Somebody deserved to be punched.
Then I took a deep breath and sat down to write.
Forget the money. Because I had work to do, and I didn't have time to mope. Because unless you want to produce drivel, writing is work. Hard, hard, satisfying, compulsive, creative work.
|bed as work station|
Even if I do sometimes work in my pajamas.
And at the dentist (not in pajamas). During violin lessons. Barefoot in the grass. And late at night after everyone is asleep. Even if, yes, it's sometimes fun.
It's not for fun. It's because I think it matters. And I can't help it.
It's still a job.
And still worth it.
Even without a tax deduction.