Right Brain, Left Brain

I have never subscribed to the belief that if you're creative, you're a mess with business, numbers, and the like.  Creative people, more than all others, need to have an analytical side that can keep them out of trouble. Think of all those rock stars and actors who get robbed blind by business managers. It's not that they can't take care of their own business, they just don't want to.

Anyone can keep track of their accounts and contracts, if they care about it. And we all should. We who live in our imaginations need to be even more vigilant, because it's so easy to let that non-fun side of our writing careers slide into Scarlett O'Hara territory - I'll think about it tomorrow.  Not good enough.  If you're smart -if you're creative, you're plenty smart - you'll pay attention to your accounts, your investments, your contracts, and ride herd on the people you hire to keep you out of the IRS's clutches.

That's not to say I'm perfect. But I'm not afraid of a column of figures or filling out forms.  Contracts, which I happen to like because most of them are written in the most obscure legalese imaginable and they're like puzzles to me, need a professional to review them.  I've signed my share of bad contracts (Avalon Books being a prime example) but back in the day, I just wanted my westerns out in the world, and westerns have been a dying breed for a very long time. Lame excuse, I know. And I've learned my lesson well.

But at least I did the damage myself. I didn't hand over my business to anyone else to mess up.  Same with all my other business decisions. When they're a success, I gloat. When they're in the ditch, I figure it's time to move on.

But I'll never pretend I don't understand the business side of writing because I'm an artist.  That's the best reason in the world to educate myself about what's what.