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  • Writer's picturekiehart

The Messy Desk Syndrome: now or later?

Usually, the first weeks of the new year find me shredding old documents, and by the time the month is finished, I am not only onto the BIG stuff but I've secured a 2023 calendar -- ready for monthly notations, appointments, and commitments.

February has always (and probably will forever be) my busiest paperwork month. With the beginning of a new year, there is much to be done.

I must prepare for tax filing. Now that I make a few dollars with book sales, I am required to complete a Schedule C and a Schedule 1 to add to my 1040-SR. And I must prepare the appropriate form for the sales tax I've collected at events and through website sales. This is simply preparation, the gathering of data -- the actual tax filing will take place later...much later.

Then, there are the decisions as to how I'll budget Pisatel Press for 2023. Which magazines/subscriptions are worth keeping? I should renew my membership in those associations that have helped the most with promoting Calico Lane. Should I keep my web page active? When does the domain charge hit my credit card? For each question, a manila file folder holds paperwork that will help in these decisions; however, another time.

February is the month that I review my "contacts"...other writers I've met and want to touch base with during 2023. The wonderful folk who allowed me to present during their writing workshops last year may have a different group this year. I should check with them...not now, but soon.

I've read at least a half dozen books since the holidays...and I need to post reviews. This is a subtle reminder for those of you who read Calico Lane to please post a review on Amazon, Goodreads, or both! It does help us indie authors (authors without agents) gain a little traction in this craft. I also take a look at my evergrowing TBR (to be read) notebook, can I cross any books off the list? I'll do this some other time.

February is also when I research contests (for new authors). The contests I've entered in 2022 (BIBA, IPPY, Writer's Digest, Firebird, and PNWA) either have already declared winners or won't announce winners until later in 2023. So, I'm fairly certain I won't enter any contests this year. But who knows for certain? So it's probably wise to save that file...for another time.

In 2022 I did not run any ads promoting Calico Lane. I relied on FB and a monthly email. Authors need to expand their 'readership' or 'following.' I've accumulated a small stack of papers and articles about running ads on Amazon and other places. Perhaps in 2023 some advertising will be cost-effective...this will require much research--later!

February is also the month when I look for opportunities as a playwright. There are several small theater groups that have shown interest in my work, so I'll touch base with them. I also threw my hat into the ring for a local theater playwriters' event, but haven't heard back yet if I will be accepted. That part of my writing is all up in the air--for now. Come to think of it, I do have a file (someplace) with contact information for small, community theaters across the United States, I need to jump on that...later.

I must sort through summertime events (craft shows, book events, festivals, neighborhood picnics -- where ever authors have opportunities to set a table and promote books. Which events should I reserve for a vendor spot? Thankfully I have author-friends who join me for these events; now, however, is the time to get together with them and post the dates into my summer months! Yes, now!

February is also the month when I must line up doctor appointments so they won't interfere with events and summertime outings. I'll look into that another time.

And, last but not least, I'm on the High School Reunion Committee and I do need to get together with others and determine if we'll have an in-person gathering sometime during 2023. It might be able to wait...till later.

And some ask, "Judy, will you write another book?" Erm...the college-lined papers with ideas are in a file folder somewhere. You guessed it, I check on those noted ideas now and again.

This February will be different from any month in the past. I will turn 70 years old! Maybe I'll celebrate by not doing anything about the stacks of paperwork! You guessed it: I'll decide that later!

My desk on a good day:

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Gretchen Staebler
Gretchen Staebler
Feb 07, 2023

I am totally loving all the bold print LATERs in this post. Made me laugh. Which is why I haven't responded to this before now. So many emails I leave in my box for LATER. Taxes, ugh. LATER. And I have yet to do any paid book advertising. NEVER? Podcasts and workshops PENDING. And I'm done applying for awards, I think. Just waiting for them to roll in! DONE.

I discovered today we have a friend in common, one of my She Writes sisters! So that's fun!


WenDee Riley
WenDee Riley
Feb 01, 2023

Oh, my life is full of procrastination, that's for sure! In January, I went through a decluttering process with a group I'm in. The process was depending on each of the days of January, the same number of 'things' I no longer used or needed or wanted were cleared out. Example: on 1/10 I found 10 things I could clear out of the house. Some were donations. Some was trash. Some were put up for sale! I cleared out a total of 496 items and today I'm beginning my February challenge. I better find that ONE thing to take a picture and get ride of! Happy birthday month Judy! oh, PS. Please keep the website going <3


Connie Jasperson
Connie Jasperson
Feb 01, 2023

Hah! Procrastination is an artform I am still working on perfecting! Good luck taming the paperwork. And do keep the website going <3

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