TaxesI did my taxes. As a natural procrastinator I had managed to put off the ordeal for weeks. My first full year as a full-time writer and, frankly, I was afraid to look at my income, or more accurately, my lack of income. I had been told that writing doesn’t pay well; it turns out I may be eligible for food stamps.

Convincing myself that I needed to be more productive I did what all procrastinators do – I got hyperproductive. Washed the pots and pans and put the dishes in the dishwasher; gathered up the clothes and put them in the washing machine; primped my ride; opened up the electronic tax filing software and put in all my numbers. All concurrently.

Yes, my dishes got washed, my clothes got washed, and, as it turns out, my taxes were a wash.

The interesting thing about not having a salary-paying job is that it still takes a long time to fill out the tax forms. Each page, each prompt, each new entry adds or subtracts to the running totals in the corner of the screen; in my case the numbers largely stood still. Long story short, I somehow got a whopping $10 federal refund, though that was cancelled out by the tax software fee. The state? All that estimated tax I paid would be refunded to me, only to be immediately sent back to the state for next year’s estimated taxes. A wash.

It’s done. Now to do what doing my taxes had helped me avoid – writing the next book.

[Note to IRS: The title is creative only; it does not suggest I actually laundered money while doing my taxes. Just wanted to make sure that was clear.]

David J. Kent is a science traveler and the author of Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, in Barnes and Noble stores now. His previous books include Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity (2013) and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (2016) and two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate.

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