Monday, September 08, 2008

The Writing Life

Book checks.

They are a tricky thing.

Everybody tells you not to rely on them coming on time -or even at all! -but there's this part of you that's always planning and scheming and hoping and budgeting, regardless.

I've been putting off some purchases for awhile because I keep thinking, "You know, it would be better to wait for my next book check." These things, at various points in time, have included: a digital camera, a home elliptical machine, a printer, an HD television (not seriously, but it's fun to think about), $100 in books from Amazon.com, and a dog (yay!).

Thing is, with the way publishing works, well, this isn't going to work. That is, if I want these things within the next, let's say, 2-4 months. So I continue to budget and accrue these things piecemeal as money allows.

See, I got my first book check when I signed the deal, which arrived roughly 30 days after I signed the contract, which arrived roughly 30 after the offer was made (this was blazing fast, in my opinion). That was pretty awesome, and that's how I was able to move into my own place and pay off a credit card. Have I mentioned how awesome that was?

In any case, the next one is due "on delivery" of GW. But though I have actually delivered GW, it's not "officially" considered delivered until my editor gets back to me with edits, I fix all the edits, she approves and is happy with the edits, the check goes through the check things it does, the check goes to my agent, my agent sends me the check minus commission, and tra-la. This could be a really long, drawn-out process. Probably 2-6 months from the time I see edits to the time I see a check (based on what I've heard from other writers).

Back in May, the plan was that I would have edits for GW from my editor in July. My sekrit wish was to then have a check by September. And then, you know, put half toward the CC and the other half toward a digital camera and Amazon books and.. and...

Yeah, I know. Ha ha.

It sucks when you realize that all the things people told you about being a writer are basically true.

In the meantime, I'm going to go buy a cheap printer.

5 comments so far. What are your thoughts?

Stuart said...

Don't knock the 1-3 years no interest at various electronic/office supply stores. It'd be a good way to buy a decent printer while waiting for your book check.

As long as you don't actually let the grace period expire... Even with $1 left as a balance. Then you get hit with the 1-3 years of interest at an obscene rate.


And thanks for the look in to the realities of writing life. :) Not there yet, but hope to be soon.

Jackie M. said...

I think you can make a pretty convincing argument for needing that printer. (Puppies, not so much...)

Kameron Hurley said...

Also, the puppy is not tax deductible!!

Jackie M. said...

I hold that over my dogs' heads everytime they misbehave.

ysabetwordsmith said...

If other industries were run as sloppily as the publishing industry, the economy would be in freefall.

... oh wait, it is.