What do writers celebrate?
I was delighted to learn this week that the very first story I ever sent to a publisher sold. The first market kept it for 338 days, and finally notified me that the project was being cancelled. It’s a shame, because it was a good anthology concept, but I was happy to have the story back. In the year that has passed, I have sent 36 other pieces to over 80 markets. I still liked the first story, and made only minor edits before sending it to a 28 day acceptance to a market that I like very much, where I had been wanting to place a story. (More details when I can share them!)
But, any way, this felt like an important milestone, and it made me look at some dates.
The anniversary of the first day I submitted a story to a market was July 17. It passed this year without my noticing. I wish I had noticed. I’ve been doing this more than a year. And I haven’t stopped writing!
The anniversary of the first day I sold a story to a paid market is September 2. I think I will celebrate then.
The anniversary of the first day I sold a story at a pro rate is November 17. Another one to celebrate, I think.
Other reflections: 10 of the 37 pieces have sold to the first market to which they were sent. I appear to be averaging about 3 new stories per month, though in reality it’s more like bursts of creativity and dry periods where I am overwhelmed at my day job or ill. As of today, I have 9 stories out at markets. This is usually my trigger to get at least one more in circulation. I finished a new story last night, which is now with my sister who is my first reader. I have 5 other stories planned to submit before 8/31 (that came back from other markets), but which still need a last round of editing and re-formatting to the targeted specifications before release into the wild.
I have met in person, or through twitter, an amazing network of writers and editors who are on this same road, but much more experienced than me. What a thrill!
So, that’s my first year as a writer in review.
Thank you to everyone who has encouraged me and believed in me!