The Practice of Creativity

Posts Tagged ‘money

Our writing life encompasses so much more than the actual writing. Here are some other important tasks besides writing that will help you sustain and deepen the quality of your writing life. Over this quarter, when you need a short break from writing, try a few items on this list.

-Check on and manage your money and intellectual property: Last year, authors and the mismanagement of their money and intellectual property assets by agents, accountants and publishing houses made the news:

These events constituted a wake-up call across the industry. It’s important for writers to both manage our money and our intellectual property.  Make it a point this quarter to collect any outstanding monies owed to you. Check your contracts with various venues that you’ve published with (e.g. anthologies, magazines, presses, etc.) and make sure you have received payment in a timely manner. Peruse royalty statements. In 2018, if you brought books to your readings at a local bookstore (often the case for writers with small presses), or made appearances at a conference, and had someone sell books on your behalf, make sure you have received the correct payment owed. I spent a good chunk of last year chasing down such monies. Furthermore, make sure you are keeping track of your intellectual property by knowing what rights you have with various publishers and when they are expiring, etc. I have really enjoyed author and entrepreneur Joanna Penn’s focus on her podcast encouraging writers to become savvy about understanding the value of our intellectual property. She has devoted several podcasts to this issue, here is a recent one.

Line up beta readers: You are going to finish something this year, right? If so, you will need some beta readers. Beta readers are people who read your work while it is in draft form. They could be people in your writing group, other writers, trusted friends, etc. It’s generally good to have a mix of non-writers and writers as beta readers. Want to know about beta reader etiquette? Check out author K.M. Weiland’s helpful post on this topic.

-Clean up your bio across your social media sites: Read your short bios that live on social media (e.g. FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.). Do they still reflect the writer that you are? Are they compelling? Do you need to add, subtract or tighten anything?

-Clean up digital clutter on your desktop: It’s coming to get you if you don’t.

-Volunteer to support and serve a published writer that you know: Several years ago, I was privileged to accompany one of my writing teachers, Marjorie Hudson, to several speaking events and workshops. I learned invaluable things watching a working writer deal with the public aspect of a writing life: speaking, promoting, coaching, and book signing.

Writers always need more support. If you have a friend or an acquaintance who has recently published a book, offer to help them promote it in some way. If you don’t know any published writers, this is a great way to connect with a local writer whose work that you admire.

Be a personal assistant, or driver, for a day. If they are scheduled to give readings, see if you can help carry books, set up a display, sell books, and assist with small tasks that would make their life easier. You can learn a lot from watching how other writers handle being in the public eye. There’s also nothing like the satisfying feeling of helping another writer on their path.

-Toss out old drafts: What do you do with drafts you’ve gotten back from your writing group? How long do you keep them? I have tendency to keep them way too long; they start to form into mountains on my desk. When you have integrated editorial comments into a completed story, toss the draft.

-Check the ergonomics of your writing space: What can be moved and realigned for maximum support of your body?

-Straighten up your submissions file: Update your 2018 submissions file and create the 2019 one. And, of course if you haven’t started a submissions file yet, correct that. Writers write and submit their work. See one of my tips for crafting a helpful submission strategy.

-Go through last year’s journals, classes and conference notes: If you took writing classes, attended conferences or workshops and/or kept a journal last year I bet there are still some nuggets to mine. Take time to honor that work.

-Update your writing accomplishments list and post it where you can see it: Smile at it from time to time. If you don’t have one, now is the time to make one!


This isn’t a book review. It’s an appetizer. You know when you start reading a book and you feel like it’s about to reshape everything you’ve thought about a subject? And, you can’t wait to tell everyone about it? That’s me, right now. I’m obsessed with the new book, Scratch: Writers, Money, and the Art of Making a Living.

It’s an amazing book exploring raw vulnerable truths, myths and contradictions about writing and making a living. The collection includes essays and interviews. Every piece moves me.

Last fall, I heard an interview with the editor, Manjula Martin, on the wonderful DIY MFA podcast, hosted by Gabriela Pereira. I bought it and have been devouring it this past week. I’m sure I’ll be writing more about it soon. Right now, please excuse me as I curl up with Scratch until the wee hours of the morning.

Affirmations-366Days#159: I challenge myself to submit more work to paying markets. I affirm that my writing is worthy of payment.

For new readers, here’s why I’m committing to writing affirmations, about the creative process, during the next 366 days.

Prosperity cannot be forced with will power. It must be coaxed with imagination. Dr. Ruth Ross, The Prospering Woman

How is your sense of abundance and prosperity doing mid-year? How happy are you with your finances? Are the things you are saying to yourself about money this year different than last year? Financial coach and friend Monique Edmonds offers guidance about how to construct the basic building blocks for financial success.

Seed, Time, Time, Time…then Harvest

As a financial coach, I have such pride and joy in seeing my clients prosper and enjoy the fruits of their labor. My clients succeed financially for many reasons, but mainly because of their willpower to succeed, their willingness to stick to their plan despite obstacles and also by consistently meeting with me as their accountability partner and expert with their financial matters.

In my line of work, you can imagine the number of people I speak with during one week or even a year for that matter. And despite the many people of various backgrounds that I speak with, the financial frustrations are the same–“Monique, I’ve created my plan but it’s not working”; “Monique, I can’t seem to make ends meet”; “Monique, every time I pay one thing off something else comes up”. To me, these comments confirm that money is not only universal but the issues that come with it are too. Also, it confirms to me that the way to conquer your financial issues is based primarily on the willpower (mindset) of the individual. This is where seed, time and harvest start the process.

Seed, time and harvest is familiar by most, including myself, in the spiritual realm. And by using this concept in your financial matters, you can reap great rewards. You see, seed can be viewed in this process as the effort (you planted) towards achieving your financial goals (deciding your goals, creating your plan, meeting with your financial coach). It’s where you:

(S)ubmit to the process of achieving your financial goals

(E)ducate yourself financially

(E)ngage yourself throughout the process as to stay in tune with your finances

(D)ecide to never go back into bad debt ever again

Next is the time factor. And I must warn you. This is the area where most people lose ground because we’re a culture of people that want to see instant results. But it’s with this process that patience truly is a virtue. This area is where you will stay the longest, and yes, it’s boring, BUT it’s where you begin to see the results of the work that you’ve planted. Next, is your harvest! You begin to see your balances decrease and then the bill is paid off. Yes! You begin to see your credit report errors go away while your credit score increases. Oh yeah!! And did I mention that you also get to watch your savings and investment accounts grow and begin seeing your goals realized? Nice job!!

So, remember. Plant your S.E.E.D and begin your process toward financial freedom. In time, time, time… guess what? You too, shall prosper!


Monique Edmonds is a financial coach who transforms your life… financially! She resides in Washington, DC and works with clients throughout the country. Visit her on the web at

Michele Tracy Berger

Michele Tracy Berger

Author, Academic, Creativity Expert I'm an award winning writer.

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