I am very pleased to announce that my first professional sale is now up on the web at Daily Science Fiction!
I cannot tell you how fucking excited I am that I finally made my first professional sale. I’ve been submitting a lot of work lately, and although I know that I am aiming high and that it is an incredibly tough market to crack, I can’t help but be ever so slightly disheartened by the rejections that roll in. Don’t get me wrong, I know that it’s the way it goes and I’ve had some exceptionally lovely feedback from editors (E. Catherine Tobler from Shimmer, I’m looking at you) but it’s just so hard to know if you’re actually good enough to play in the big kid’s sandbox. Getting a ‘Yes’ means the world to me to the point that, when my story hit the inboxes of 7000+ subscribers, I hysterically cried and laughed for about ten minutes.
And then? I got some great feedback via Twitter and Facebook. And it felt amazing. People read my story! People LIKED my story! People took the time out to find me on the interwebs and say so! Writing can feel so solitary sometimes, especially if you’ve only shown work to critiquing buddies (and I love every single one of you, very much). It was terrifying and overwhelming to think that a little piece of me was out there, in the most visible way I’ve experienced up until this point.
It was also a confronting moment in a very peculiar way, as I wrote Squeak during a very dark time. And if you know me personally, it probably makes a lot more sense. But all of a sudden, strangers can see something exceptionally personal and meaningful to me. Maybe those are the only stories worth writing, but it sure does feel bizarre to expose yourself in such a fashion. It makes me feel like I’m risking my insides to a crowd. And, you know what? It makes me feel brave, and that, I think, is a very good thing.
Okay, I’m very late in replying here, but I had to comment…
I know exactly what you mean about the weird exposure of having your stories published. It’s such an odd thing, isn’t it? You’re ecstatic to have your work out there, and it’s so great to be sharing it far and wide and having that recognition, yet at the same time, there’s this tiny part of you shrieking ‘Oh god, don’t read it, argh, noooo…’
It’s like you want everyone to read it but also no one to read it. Because it’s personal. Every story is deeply personal, and it’s scary to show that to other people, particularly total strangers. Don’t get me wrong; the awesome affirmation far outweighs the shyness of exposure. But it’s such a strange, contradictory feeling. Hopefully it gets easier with every story, but the day our stories stop being personal is the day we stop writing them.