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 [] 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 [she, her] currently writes cozy space opera for Kalikoi. The novella series A Place of Refuge begins with Finding Refuge: Telepathic warrior Talia Avi, genius engineer Miki Boudreaux, and augmented soldier Faigin Balfour fought the fascist Federated Colonies for ten years, following the charismatic dissenter Jon Churchill. Then Jon disappeared, Talia was thought dead, and Miki and Faigin struggled to take Jon’s place and stay alive. When the FC is unexpectedly upended, Talia is reunited with her friends and they are given sanctuary on the enigmatic planet Refuge. The trio of former guerillas strive to recover from lifetimes of trauma, build new lives on a planet with endless horizons, and forge tender new connections with each other.
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