When my friend, poet Phebus Etienne, died a few years ago, she passed away without a will. I believe most of her possessions went to her family, but she did not specify what she wanted to happen with her writings. Phebus had a completed manuscript. I know there are publishers willing to release her collection posthumously, but the family is reluctant.
So here’s Question 1: In the event of your untimely death, have you specified what happens to your unpublished work? Is your spouse, partner, children, or close relatives the best people to decide what gets released? Do you trust their literary judgment? Completed manuscripts are one thing, but what about works in progress, letters, and journal entries—those fits and starts you think are junk could be the subject of a tell-all book.
I hope to resolve this in my own life in 2010.
Question 2: Writers, how do you handle your finances? I’m thinking about keeping my poetry-related expenses separate for tracking purposes, but I’m not sure what that will look like for me.
Do you have a separate account for your earnings and expenses? Do you use a tracking software or Excel spreadsheet? What do you consider a write-off? Any recommendations are helpful.