Your time is not deductible. This is something I learned the hard way a few years back, and was reminded of again when I got my nifty newsletter from June Walker, who teaches self-employed folks how to do their own taxes.
(I hire the best accountant money can buy to do my taxes—I wouldn’t even consider doing my own—but I still bought her book and read her newsletters, because it makes it easier for me to know what I can deduct and can’t, and how to organize everything to make life easier for my accountant.)
Here’s the link to the current issue of her newsletter Tax Solutions for Indies, which explains how a whole lot of decent people end up in a whole world of hurt.
P.S. If you’re buying writing supplies and software, writing with intent to publish, sending out stories, and so on, even if you haven’t sold anything yet, there are circumstances in which your writing counts as a schedule C deductible activity. You need to start saving receipts and talk to an accountant about whether you can start deducting materials, software, books, computers, magazines, postage, and all those other writing supplies, essentials, and semi-essentials that constitute setting up and running a writing business.
SO if you’re writing, odds are decent that the information above applies to you.