However, more than a few of the items on the "IRS" list annoyed me. (Surprise, surprise.)
"Do you carry on your activities in a business-like manner? Do you maintain a system to keep track of your expenses/income? (Do you maintain a separate checking account or charge card for business purposes?"
Yes and yes! I win! Er, wait. This was just the first item on the list. And while I'm not going to go through all of them, I did think it would be fun (ahem) to rant about a few of them.
"Is the time and effort you put into writing indicative of someone attempting to sell a manuscript for profit?"
"Have you generated a profit from your writing in prior years, and was the profit sufficient?"
Yes, I've generated a profit. Was it sufficient? Hell, no! Not if you calculate an hourly equivalent. Do I care? Of course. But that hasn't stopped me nor will it, though it would be nice to make enough to pay the mortgage. Every month. (Greedy, eh? Wanting to pay the mortgage from my royalties. Every. Single. Month.) In truth, earning that much would provide so much affirmation that I wouldn't be able to stop grinning, which would, of course, trigger unintended consequences. Children might run away, shrieking in terror. My dancing in the street could alarm our neighbors, not to mention the cows and horses in the field to the east. And what about that dark scene I need to write? I might not be in the appropriate frame of mind to throw enough rocks at my characters, which might keep that manuscript from selling, which means I wouldn't make enough to pay my mortgage, which means I'd stop smiling, which means... Okay, going in circles now.
Enough of their list. How about mine? It would be short and sweet, starting with something along the lines of, "How often do you sit down and write? Virtually every day? As you also cope with a day job? And family? Then OF COURSE you're a writer."
Does our dear old IRS have those questions and that answer on their list? Nope. Just dollars and cents. I know, I know. My list is simply wishful thinking on my part. But remember, I do write fiction!