As I write this we are about three hours from my short-short story “H” going live over at Daily Science Fiction (permalink to the story). This will be the first story of mine to be published in a pro-rate paying market. I am both thrilled and terrified about this. I suspect I may even have trouble sleeping tonight.
Of course, I hope you’ll check out the story, but alerting you to its existence is not the only reason for this post. I wanted to muse a little about the the idea of ‘firsts’ as a writer. It seems to me that one of the lucky aspects of being a writer is that you get to experience the thrill of a “first” many times over.
For me there has been:
- The first short story I ever wrote. It was called “Karma” and included an Angel and Demon whose friendship was grounded in a mutual love of Lucha Libre. You’ll probably never read it, but finishing it felt like a triumph.
- My first ever rejection letter. It was for a flash piece called “Waking Up” and came from Flash Fiction Online. You will definitely never read it. Rejections aren’t as fun as acceptances, but they really are authorial badges of honor. They show you’re truly making a go of it.
- My first ever acceptance by any market ever. It was for “Salatis and The Dog” the first story in my Empire & Animal serial. Jukepop Serials paid me the semi-pro rate of 3 cents a word to make that story part of their initial roll out of serials. It felt amazing to have someone willing to spend their money on my story. I hope you will read it, if you haven’t already.
- That also made “Salatis and The Dog” the first piece of my writing ever published by someone other than myself.
- My first ever acceptance by a pro-rate paying market. This actually occurred a while ago but I won’t talk about it much other than to say things are a bit complicated with this one right now.
- My first ever proper acceptance and signed contract from pro-rate paying market. That was for a story originally entitled “The Last Day”, but the title is probably changing, and the market was Fireside Fiction. This one felt huge to me – my first true pro sale. Its publication date is TBD. (It was the fourth story I had submitted to Fireside between September 2012 and October 2014)
- And now “H” which will be my first piece published in a pro-rate market, but was my fourth acceptance overall, my third from a pro-rate market, and my second truly-proper-contract-signed-and-everything pro sale.
Has this been a weird ride? An average one? I don’t know. I just know each and every one of those “firsts” has been a great personal moment for me and the excitement seems to build with every new step.
I’ve got a lot more firsts to come, and other writing successes as well, and I’m going to enjoy them all and if you’re a writer I hope you make it a point to really enjoy every one of your firsts and successes as well.
Edited to add the permalink.