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John Scalzi's Advice to New Writers

This is really priceless advice for anyone pursuing a living at comics too.

A small excerpt (but read the whole thing):

Writers make crap. Why do they make crap? For many reasons, beginning with forces outside their control (publishers pay as little as humanly possible; lots of would-be writers willing to work for pennies, keeping the pay rates low) and working up to forces entirely within their control (writers playing with their XBox 360s instead of writing; willingness to be to paid stupid low rates for their work).


Great article. I think #4 needs a little amplification.

CyberLord's picture

Great article.  I think it needs some amplification of one point.

 4. Your income is half of what you think it is.
 When you work for someone, the employer withholds your income...taxes for the IRS...
 Simple solution: Every time you get a check, divide it in two. One half is yours to pay for bills...(t)he other half, which you deposit into an interest-bearing account of some sort, goes to federal, state and local taxes...

What most people don't seem to realize is that the Feds (and possibly your State) require that you pay 25% of your annual taxes for the entire years income at each quarter.
What that means is that even if you have a small first quarter with larger sales coming up in later quarters the Feds (and possibly your State) want 25% of your taxes based on the total annual income for each quarter.  They don't care that your sales came up short in the current quarter.  They want 25% NOW!  If you don't pay enough they WILL hit you with fines.  If you pay too much you just gave the Feds (and possibly your State) a zero-interest loan.
Yes, that just put the entire burden of predicting your annual income within the first quarter of the year on you.  Tough luck.  Deal with it.  You're in business.  Act like it.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort but where he stands at times of challenge and discovery. -- Martin Luther King, Jr.---------CyberLord

Great point

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

That's a great point.

Not to mention the fact that you never know when unexpected expenses are goin' hit you -- it's always a good idea to always be building some rainy day savings

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