Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Funding a Writing Career

Funding a Writing Career

I’m cheap, always have been. When the kids were little, I made the Hamburger Helper type meals from scratch. A little pasta, add some vegetables and meat; you’ve a complete meal that fills their little tummies.

A writing career is a home based business and therefore, requires a certain amount of funding. There are classes, seminars, office supplies, mailing supplies, books, market guides, promotion expenses and magazines. Like any start up business you initially put out more than you take in. That’s where being a thrifty type person comes in handy. It takes a little sacrificing but in the end…

This year I want to attend a writer’s conference so I’ve brain stormed a way to save some money for one. I like going out to eat and probably do that once or twice a week. I’m giving up one night a week and putting that money in a piggy bank. That’s about $30.00 a week or $120.00 a month!

As writers, we use tons of paper every week. At an average of $3.99 per package the costs adds up. I recycle my paper. I keep a box next to my computer and after editing a hard copy of a manuscript it goes into the box. Then I use the backside of that paper for character sketches, re-writes, notes, doodling and brainstorming.

Ink is another costly expense. When I started taking writing classes I took a serious look at the cost of things and realized that I needed to cut expenses. I do most of my editing on the computer screen. This saves on ink, but for me it’s not the same as a hard copy; when it’s as close to polished as possible, I print it out on my re-cycled paper. Then edit again. I also have a rule, no printing web pages that use color unless it’s a necessity. This way I’m buying black ink only.

Writers are avid readers too. I’ve spent a fortune in books. Now I’ve put some boundaries on my spending. The library is the cheapest way to study a new genre. If you’re like me, you like owning the books you read. This way if it gets a little wet while I’m soaking in the tub, it’s no one’s loss but my own. I save money by buying books for genre study at the second hand stores. One exception to this rule is when a writer friend has a book or article published I buy that brand new. After all, we need to support each other on the way up.

With a little sacrifice and creativity, you can save a dime here and there. Trust me, it adds up.



Jean said...

I love this post.

I'll add another way to save a couple bucks. Deny yourself that second or third can of soda each day. Here, cans go for .50. If you save that every day for a week, that's another $2.50. In a month, that is $10 and a year that makes $120.

Yes, .50 doesn't seem like much when you initially think about it, but over time, it really adds up.

Thanks again for such a great post


Cheryl said...

Great post Lori. Many of these things I do myself. I like to check markets that allow for emailed submissions to keep the cost of postage down, but I sure won't stray away from a market if I have to mail it in. And some contests are going electronic as well.

Thanks for sharing your ideas with us.


Anonymous said...

Girl this post is right up my alley! I am cheap too, save everywhere I can. I had to laugh about the hamburger helper, I was just as bad.
Thanx for the post. Great advice!


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