What Accounting Taught Me About Writing Whether I Wanted to Know or Not

I’ve spent most of the last couple of weeks getting ready to file our taxes.  We own a small business and somewhere along the way I got the crackpot idea that I could serve as the bookkeeper and financial person for the business.  This made total sense in light of the fact that for years I could never even balance my own checkbook, but somehow it seemed easier than trying to explain the chaotic, right-brain mess I had come up with to a professional.

I also have this gung ho drive to learneverythingpossibleabouteverythingintheuniverse, (and perhaps one or two control issues– just sayin’ )  but this was more out of my comfort zone than social media.

I felt stupid, and completely out of my depth, and more to the point I was worried that I was hurting our business, and part of our livelihood.

A couple of years ago, I decided that I had had enough and  I should give up and just hire a pro, but something weird happened when I started sorting things out to turn it over.

I found out that I had actually begun to understand it.  All that beating my head against Quickbooks had soaked in some how. Now, I’m not ever going to run off to be a corporate accountant, our little mom and pop is plenty for me, but my figures were starting to make sense, and I understood how I had organized the data.  My cash flow statements started to make sense, and I was better able to figure out how to keep a budget square so I didn’t have to panic if there was an unexpected feed bill.  Okay, those things still make me panic because dang it, feed prices are ridiculous these days, but at least I don’t have to eat ramen noodles for two weeks so the four leggeds can dine unfettered.

It’s all about making good habits, keeping organized, and most important of all:  not psyching yourself out before you even get started.

See, I’d always heard that whole “girls aren’t as good at math” crap, and my father was a CPA, so I figured if I didn’t crawl out of the womb with one of those little bookkeepers hats on my head, I couldn’t do it. Or at least do it well.

To which I now say: horse apples.  We are all capable of doing anything we set our minds to do, provided we are willing to put in the time, effort and discipline to make it a success.

The same with writing, too.  I had always figured that if I couldn’t make Hemingway – esque prose drip from my typewriter (yes, that was what I learned to type on-I’m that old!) it was something that couldn’t be learned.

Again:  Horse apples.  It also takes time, effort, discipline and investing in the learning process.  And investing in yourself, a bit too.

And its a dang sight more fun in the long run than accounting. If I can learn to make my balance sheets pretty I can sure as heck figure out how to master story structure.  That stuff actually makes sense.  I mean seriously?  What sadist created double-entry bookkeeping? Yeesh.

What about you?  Is there something that was difficult for you that you mastered and felt pretty danged proud of yourself for conquering?  Share with me!


One thought on “What Accounting Taught Me About Writing Whether I Wanted to Know or Not

  1. Horse apples! Love that and am going to find a way to say it every single day for the rest of my life. Okay, maybe not that much because then it wouldn’t be as funny to me. Every other day.

    I hate math. There, I’ve said it. I would still be screaming down the street yelling, “don’t make me do it!” Seriously. But I’m glad you figured it out and think the page looks pretty. That’s good enough for me and my horse apples.

    Writing is way more fun than accounting and who cares if you aren’t Hemingway. Just tell your story. YOUR story and you’ll get there. With the help of horse apples.

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