I say taxes and I can hear most of you groan. People are always complaining about having to pay the government a percentage of their hard-earned money. I’ve probably complained about it myself. But signing up to pay sales tax to the North Carolina Department of Revenue wasn’t just about giving the state my money. It was a milestone. I’m celebrating paying taxes because it means I’ve sold something…my book.
I’ve written several books, come close to being published a couple of times, even had a literary agent work with me for a while, but it wasn’t until I finally stopped being afraid, that I allowed myself to believe in my own work enough to self-publish. Success can only come when you learn to believe in yourself and get out of your own way.
Self-publishing requires me to be writer, publisher, publicist and bookseller. If something gets done, I’m probably the one who has to do it. Thankfully, I have a great group of friends who have come this way before me. I have attended talks, programs and online classes, but nothing truly prepares you like diving into the middle and learning to swim. When I get in too deep I know who I can call for help. I have several friends on speed dial.
Filling out my first sales tax form was an experience I’d not soon repeat. I am not an accountant or tax preparer. I believe they purposely make these things difficult to understand just to make us look foolish when we have to call for help. Thankfully, I have a friend/cousin for that. Kathy and Catherine at H and H were a tremendous help. Catherine set everything up for me to pay my sales taxes and Kathy pulled me off the ledge by explaining what needed to go where. I made a copy so maybe I won’t have to call them again whimpering. (There’s nothing more fun than a grown woman calling you as soon as you walk in the door after a holiday, demanding and crying for you to explain the foreign language that is the North Carolina Department of Revenue.)
So, as I hand my postmaster my envelope with my first sales taxes and ask she take a picture with me for my blog, she graciously complies and even offers to give me her taxes to pay. Such a dear friend.
As you prepare your taxes this year, think of all the blessings that resulted in you having to pay and maybe you too can celebrate the paying of taxes. No? Oh well, have a happy tax season, y’all.
Sherri Lupton Hollister
Southern Suspense/Thriller with a touch of romance and attitude