As it turns out, I won’t be sending a query to the Daily Science Fiction today. Instead — I received an acceptance letter from them!
This marks my first sale, and coincidentally, my first professional sale. The 8 cents a word offered by DSF is a respectable pay-rate, and while the piece is flash and won’t really bring in much bank, the prestige of that pay-rate has really made my day (week [month!]).
It’s hard to explain to non-writers what it’s like to select an activity for which the most probable outcome is failure. Especially, when it’s something that most people consider to be easy. The average person might think: “I could be a writer, if I bothered.” However, very few people think to themselves, “I could be an Olympic Athlete, if I tried.” Trying to explain the long odds, the level of commitment, the sheer amount of effort it takes to become a published writer is no easy task, and it often takes me a few times explaining it before the person really starts to understand.
With that in mind, I’m sure you can see how this external validation — that someone who has no investment in me, whose profession it is to suss the good from the bad — comes as such a relief.
One publication will not make me a professional writer (it won’t even buy me into the ranks of SFWA.org), but it does give me the knowledge that, if I try very hard, I can do this.