I think most writers will identify, at least a little bit, with the article below, which I wrote ages ago to try to convey the wonderful feeling and circumstances of my own first sale… I give it here as a public service to those who may not have felt the joy of publication yet. Hopefully, it will inspire you to push onwards… If I could do it, so can you!
Like most writers, I have a regular job that pays the bills. And my first sale, in 2005 actually came on a day when I was regretting a recent job switch.
The problem was my new boss, who seemed bent on removing all self-esteem and will to live from his subordinates. With the rest of them away on business, I had been left to bear the brunt alone. It had been the worst week of my professional life.
Arriving from work depressed and exhausted after nine o’clock, I was handed a manila envelope, with handwritten address. Inside was a copy of Jupiter SF, a genre magazine printed in black and white.
At first, I was unsure what to make of this. I had sent them a story, maybe this was a strategy to get me to subscribe. But then it occurred to me that they might have decided to print my story, and had been unable to inform me due to my change of email. I leafed through it quickly, and there it was! “Tenth Orbit” by Gustavo Bondoni. The magazine in my hand was a contributor’s copy. The first payment of any kind for my writing.
I must honestly admit that, since changing jobs, I had let my writing slide. I hadn’t written anything at all in months, and hadn’t even bothered to send rejected stories out to new markets. Not enough energy.
Nevertheless, at the moment I realized that I was now a published author; my other worries were forgotten. The satisfaction I felt was not monetary (although, having submitted by email and received a magazine worth four dollars, I had, unusually, come out ahead), but because someone had thought that my story was good enough that people should hand over their hard-earned cash in order to read it. And that, somewhere, people were doing precisely that.
My drive to write and publish was instantly rekindled. And I felt I had achieved something truly significant.
Which was something I had really needed.
Gustavo Bondoni is still writing, and has since sold over 200 stories and a number of novels. His book Outside deals with the consequences of posthumanity and transhumanism.