There may come a time in your writing career, probably before you get your big six-figure publishing contract, but maybe after — we all have a different path — where you will need to write a letter to your potential mortgage company or the bank lending you money to buy a house explaining that, yes, you are a writer. Yes, you have business expenses that you report on your taxes. You will continue to operate this business. You do not expect either your income or expenses from this business to drastically increase. It breaks your heart to write, but it’s better than telling them you’ve ceased your endeavors.
Rule number one remains: Don’t quit your day job.
The usual question is plotter versus panster. Do you prepare a detailed outline and stick to it when writing a story, or do you just start writing and see where it goes? Like most authors, I’m somewhere in the middle. I usually will have the spark of inspiration, write a bit, then plot until the story makes sense. The rest is usually pantsing. When I get stuck, I try going back to the outline to dig in a little deeper.
The part I really love is when something needles its way into the story (for some reason, shoes come up a lot for me), and stabs itself into the plot. Then you write something you had no intention of writing or exploring and the whole piece takes flight. Who made those shoes after all? I didn’t think it was important, but apparently it is.