April 15 is the day Americans are required to file their federal income taxes—they must be postmarked or e-filed by midnight tonight. April 15 is one of those days we all dread but none of us can avoid. Having tax returns looming over your head can be quite intimidating, and as I was preparing mine, I realized that writing and filing a tax return are similar in four ways:
To file federal income taxes, one must gather receipts, W-2s and 1099s, as well as documents received from employers, banks, investment firms, and various other sources (including royalty statements—yay!) so the headache of filling out tax forms can begin.
Writers face similar preparations: they outline plots and characters, conduct research, decide on their personal system for writing (notebooks, writing software, dictation), and obsess about the details they don’t want to forget before committing those to paper.As a writer, you also need to recognize when a professional should become part of your team. #editors #writing #indieauthors Click To Tweet
How many of us waited until the last minute to file taxes because we kept telling ourselves we had a little more time?
How many of us will spend time doing everything except adding words to our WIP today?
Many people work best under pressure and only accomplish tasks when a deadline looms.
Many writers work best under pressure and only accomplish tasks when a deadline looms.
4. Know when to seek professional help
My tax returns are beyond my level of expertise. Tax preparation is not a DIY project for me. I’m not a numbers person, and between all the self-employment forms, deductions, energy credits, AMT, etc., my eyes glaze over. I know I need professional help, so I asked for some referrals and found a great CPA to work with.
Yes, I still had to do all the preparation, procrastination, and meeting of deadlines, but once I brought a professional onto my team, I knew my taxes would be done correctly.
Added bonus: I had hours of time to spend working instead of pulling my hair out in frustration over tax forms I don’t understand.
As a writer, you also need to recognize when a professional should become part of your team—and this is especially true with editing. Whether you need help with structure from the beginning, coaching as you progress, copyediting after you’ve completed at least one round of self-editing, or proofreading the final version, a professional editor can help make your book, article, or promotional copy the best it can be.
Added bonus: You’ll have hours of time to spend writing instead of tearing your hair out trying to figure out why a character doesn’t work, when a period goes outside of a quotation mark, or whether you should have used rain, reign, or rein in your description.
Do you have the preparation/procrastination/deadlines/professional help cycle in your writing life?
Your expertise is writing; let me show you how my editorial expertise can help you take your writing to the next level. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a no-obligation quote and sample edit today.
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- Last day to file federal tax returns (wwlp.com)
Candace Johnson is a professional freelance editor, proofreader, writer, ghostwriter, and writing coach who has worked with traditional publishers, self-published authors, and independent book packagers on nonfiction subjects ranging from memoirs to alternative medical treatments to self-help, and on fiction ranging from romance to paranormal. As an editorial specialist, Candace is passionate about offering her clients the opportunity to take their work to the next level. She believes in maintaining an author’s unique voice while helping him or her create and polish every sentence to make it the best it can be.