A few postings ago I mentioned Burnett Outten, the cold-fusion guy. What a hoot! Bernie's circumstances were "singular." No doubt about it
Mistakes can cost you taxes and penalties. It's like a conservative president who tries to deduct right-to-lifers as some kind of tax grace. It just ain't happening. Not anymore, at least. As a nation, we'll probably have to write off the losses of Iraq, big time, but it won't benefit you. No, it will cost you. And me. Everyone. The only thing to do is to learn from the mistake. To utilize it to be smarter and do better in the future. The same is true in your activity as a writer or an artisan.
You need a written plan. Your plan should be to make money, to profit from your expression, whether your expression is in words as a writer or in art or in some other medium. Make some money! The cliché says that the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Your plan should be dynamic, not static. It should change, not with the wind, but based upon your operating results; that is, it should change with what happened when you followed your plan but it didn't result in a profit or in an adequate profit to suit you
Your new plan should supplant your old one only if you're convinced that something new can do better than what you were doing before. A plan needs to involve both finances and operations. It should be influenced by the opinion of experts who have earned profits in similar businesses and activities. You should be changing things for efficiency's sake, for the sake of reaching your market, because you think you can sell a new product for greater amount with less effort. Plan and revamp. Keep going until you make money or decide you can't make it. If you keep losing money it becomes increasingly difficult to sell the idea that you are in a trade or business. At some point it becomes almost impossible to convince the IRS cynics.