The Agony & The Ecstasy All in One Day!
First, the agony. Soak it up, folks. What you are looking at is a milestone in the life of any writer. This is my first "ding letter".
A ding letter is a term I got from an old girlfriend back when she was applying for post collegiate jobs. A ding letter means they just rang the bell on you and you're OUT! So, this is my first rejection from a major source I submitted to recently.
Remember back in 04 (If I were an old fart I'd say "ought-four") when I said I finally got the nerve to submit to the popular NPR show, This American Life? I thought it would be MONTHS before I got a rejection letter, but it was only a matter of a few weeks. Not bad, really. Who knows if any of it was even read past the first few paragraphs? The point is, I have officially busted my writer's rejection cherry, and from a radio show no less!
This really wasn't all that big a deal. It didn't even hurt. I still plan on resubmitting to them and I will have my Sedaris-like moment in the sun. Besides, why should I be upset when earlier today ...
That's right, kiddies! For the ecstasy portion of the program I am proud to announce that AbsoluteWrite.com, one of the web's most prestigious and informative sources for writers, has chosen my revamped version of Writing Prompts for publication in their February 16th Newsletter! I recommend you head to their site today! For my efforts I shall receive an actual paycheck!
Now before it sounds like I'm off making some of that Stephen King cash, let me say that the sum is not much. It is only $5.00 if you're THAT curious. I was given a choice between receiving a FREE one year subscription to the Absolute Markets Newsletter (a $15.00 value and an extremely valuable resource if I want to make MORE money at this) or taking the five dollars via check or PayPal.
I ASKED for the check. Why? The amount is NOT the issue here.
It is a great achievement for any writer to receive a paycheck for their work. The work now has VALUE, other than emotional or sentimental attachments. It is no longer just an investment of my own time and ability. It has WORTH outside of my little world. While I have been creating things and making them part of a bigger existence by sharing them within the pages of other e-zines, this article is now truly a part of something special and different.
For a guy who has dabbled with writing for years and only really taken a serious interest in the craft for less than a year this $5.00 represents 500 of the most satisfying pennies I have ever earned. It is not unlike the first $15.00 I made as an entertainer. This five-spot is also money I earned doing something I love in a field that is notoriously unforgiving and cruel, if not just plain hard to make a living at.
I will likely not even cash the check. It will be mounted, framed, and displayed on my wall with pride. With luck it will serve as a magnet for more paying writing gigs. I'm sure I'll make a scan of it and share it with you here, along with all future ding letters.
I got word of the future of the NEW, "Writing Prompts Exposed!" before I got my ding letter. I'm sure that helped a lot. Just like in show-biz, timing is truly everything.