Friday, September 05, 2008

Self-Discipline

I think I'm finally getting the hang of ballet class. I'm still not totally graceful, but in general I feel more like I know what I'm doing. We learned turns last night, and I could actually do them right. My legs are a little sore this morning, but I feel a definite sense of achievement.

Shameful confession: I did wake up in time to watch the last 45 minutes or so of the morning news. However, I did not do so on purpose. I'd been in the middle of a bad dream spiraling out of control, and the only way out was to wake up, then once I woke up, I didn't really want to go back to sleep, so I turned on the TV.

In spite of all the suggestions to yesterday's post, I won't be taping (no, I don't have a Tivo or any other DVR) the morning news. The news is sort of pointless unless you watch it when it's on, even though I could probably scroll through it in half an hour, since it seems to be two parts news to five parts commercials for furniture stores. Plus, sighing wistfully at the anchorman when watching a newscast I would have watched anyway is reasonably normal. Taping newscasts just to ogle the anchorman is bordering on pathetic. Yes, I'm shy and reserved even in my imaginary love life. Which could explain a lot about why I don't have a real one.

I got my check for the film option yesterday, and that was a reminder that this career requires different kinds of self-discipline. You need the self-discipline to work even when you don't have a boss hanging over your shoulder, even if you don't have a deadline or even if your deadline is months (or, in the case of multi-book contracts, years) away. But you also have to have a lot of financial discipline because instead of getting a monthly paycheck, you tend to get paid in big lump sums.

Most people would probably sneer at the check I got yesterday if they thought of it as the majority of an annual salary, but just seeing a single check that big can play games with your brain. It's like, "Whee! Money!" and then the bank balance starts to look really good. But you have to think of it as an annual salary, so when you deduct taxes, Social Security (which is double for self-employed people), health insurance and business expenses, then divide it by twelve, you suddenly feel poor again. And you do have to have the self-discipline to do that kind of thinking in order to avoid getting in trouble. You can't get that big, lump-sum advance check and go crazy when you don't know how long it will have to last you.

I probably ought to do something cool to celebrate, but at the same time, I'm leery of doing too much since I just have a couple more foreign sale advances due to come in, and after that, I don't know when I'll next make money. The Book in Search of a Good Home is still out there (there should be some action on that this month, as the publishing world is back in business after the summer), and then there's The New Project, but even if those sell before the end of the year, it can take a while to get the money. We struck this movie deal eleven months ago, for instance (book money does usually come faster, unless there are issues with the contract).

The new car was kind of my movie deal celebration, as I wouldn't have bought it if I didn't know I had that money coming eventually. So now I'll let that car take me to the bank to deposit the check.

1 comment:

Tiana said...

Hello, this is Tiana from HK, just finished read the Chinese Edition of your fiction, it should the book 1 suppose.

I thinks this is really funny, and try to search some news of u, as there are nothing but only the book in store.

Thanks god this is not the end of this story, maybe I am a girl so that I am really interest on the development between Katie and Owen...

Hope that the book 2 will translated asap or I must read the Englist edition as I could not wait anymore, just want to share my happiest to have chance to read your book, wish u have a good day ^_^