When do you know for sure that you have made it as a freelance writer? Is it that burst of incredulous joy when you land your first assignment? When you hold your first book in your hand and smell that crisp new-book smell? Maybe it is the first time you answer the question “What do you do?” by saying “I am a writer.”
Perhaps is it when you accomplish something you have only dreamed about, never expecting it to come true. I have had many highlights in my writing career. The joy of my first sale, the acceptance and publication of my first book, launching my website and accumulating over 250 published articles and stories.
Yet nothing prepared me for the joy of realizing my ultimate dream. Ever since I began writing, I fantasized about an editor calling me to purchase my work. No more queries, kowtowing or quietly gritting my teeth while enduring yet another rejection. I have heard that it happens sometimes, yet it was a fantasy; a pipedream.
It was only a dream, until last Saturday. An editor with Harris Publications contacted me. She wanted to buy reprint rights to an article they’d found on the Internet. It will appear in the April/May 2005 issue of Decorating Solutions, an actual newsstand magazine. I saved the best for last: two days later a $100 check arrived. Another bonus is that the editor likes my work and is already considering three more pieces.
I know I will still have to write queries. I will still have to submit my work if I hope to get it published. For a brief, ecstatic moment I lived my fantasy. Now it is time to get back to work. I have to come up with another dream.
Shaunna Privratsky has authored over 250 articles, including pieces in The Writer, FundsForWriters, Write Success and Absolute Write. Her book Pump Up Your Prose is here. She has won Scribe & Quill’s Renegade Writer Contest. Check out her acclaimed writer’s e-book series and FREE newsletter at The Writer Within. Learn her money-saving secrets at The Discount Diva while you’re visiting.