Friday, July 24, 2009

In Which Our Heroine Takes The Plunge

As mentioned above below, I sold my first story recently. I've been writing since I was a kid, though for a long time I wrote fanfic and participating online "role playing games" that were really more like long, involved collaborative stories. I wasn't trying to get published, I was writing for my own amusement and the amusement of my friends and fellow fanfic readers and writers and fellow gamers.

Periodically I'd feel the urge to try to write for publication. Usually when I attended Orycon (the local SF convention, which is heavy on the literature, not so heavy on media stuff), where I saw and heard from and interacted with lots of writers and editors. Then I'd come home, get back to the grind and the urge would fade. I'd go back to writing fanfic or participating in RPGs.

But I found myself writing less fanfic, and even as the RPGs were drying up (online RPGs seldom last long--the most white-bearded game I ever participated in lasted a little over two years), I was writing more and more sidebar stories about my characters. I began to think that maybe I wanted to write something original for publication after all. Or again. Or something.

So I started writing stories and sending them out. About a month after I started seriously writing and submitting stories, I lost my job of fifteen years to the recession. I got a nice severance package, and my lovely and talented spouse continued to be gainfully employed, so we're not in financial trouble. But it left us with a choice, and after discussing it, we decided I'd spend the next six months to a year (depending on how long we can manage financially) with me working at writing as my job.

If I become the next Stephen King (or J. K. Rowling) that would great! If I become a moderately successful midlist author that would be good too. If I can earn at least as much from writing as I was getting as a wage slave at a nonprofit agency that would be acceptable. Failing that, I may eventually have to go back to work--though perhaps only part-time or as a temp.

So selling a story recently was a big thrill. With luck I'll sell more--and then more! Short stories aren't likely to feed the metaphorical bulldog, however. So I'm going to have to stretch myself and work toward writing longer stories, working up to novels eventually.

Wish me luck!

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