professional writing and spending money

In reviewing money I spent last year on writing-related expenses, I once again have been pondering when this money is well-spent, and where my priorities are.

The best purchase I made was a netbook, basically a smaller-sized laptop computer. My laptop is several years old, and since I have no desktop computer and often write outside of my house, it’s vital. I could have bought a new full-sized laptop, or even a desktop, but the netbook was the best option for me; because it’s small. I’ve carried it a few times when I would not have carried my old laptop, and gotten extra writing done as a result. I feel safer having a backup machine. Finally, the netbook supports the most important thing about writing professionally, which is the writing itself.

At the moment, my website [www.victoriajanssen.com] isn’t much; it’s up to date, and provides all the relevant information, but I did not pay for a designer, or for any fabulous graphics or gadgets. I’m still pondering whether a web designer should be in my future. I think I will reconsider that question, if I sell another book; until then, I think the site does what I meant it to, that is, serve as a source of information for interested readers, even if they’re bringing up the page on their Blackberry. If I pay more money and get a fancier website, it will then require more of my time; I’ll have to provide more content for it, and think about said content. Those things will eat into time which I spend on writing. So it’s a lower priority.

After travel to conferences, which I consider very important for networking and maintaining my sanity as a writer, my other largest expense is books. Books…well, books are a luxury. I could get more books for free, or from libraries, but I love books, and having them makes me happy. Also, sometimes having the relevant reference to hand means I don’t have to trudge outside in the snow and take the bus to the library. I consider my book habit justified; in my budget, it replaces such things as a car and its associated costs, cable television, and high-speed internet. And if I don’t read, my writer’s brain is not fed; also, if I don’t read in my genre, I don’t know my genre. So once again, books come back to the writing, and I count it a justified cost.

How about you?

About Victoria Janssen

Victoria Janssen’s first erotic novel, The Duchess, Her Maid, The Groom and Their Lover (Harlequin Spice, December 2008), was translated into French and German. Her second Spice novel, The Moonlight Mistress (December 2009), was translated into Italian and nominated for a RT Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her third novel is The Duke & The Pirate Queen (December 2010). She has also published erotic short stories as Elspeth Potter. Her blog features professional writing and marketing tips, genre discussion, book reviews, and occasional author interviews.
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