I've enjoyed a post-sale euphoria this week after Mike Resnick bought a story for Galaxy's Edge. Selling is always a great feeling, but I've enjoyed this one a whole lot more because of the market. And although I'm thrilled by every sale, this is probably the most excited I've been since my first one three years ago, when Tasmaniac bought Ghost of the Heart.
It was great to get congratulatory emails and messages from a few writer friends/peers. While I also received congrats from other family and friends, the writers understood the importance of this sale, the difficulty in selling to the pro-markets, the career development this actually represents. But every single one of them said the same thing - keep writing, get more work out there, get your next one sold. (Gitte Christensen said some very nice things here. Thank you.)
I've heard of writers who sell one story to a pro-market and never sell to them again. I'm aware of others who presume this first sale means they've broken through, only to take a year or more to sell the second. And, of course, there are those who continue to sell regularly at this level.
Dave Farland wrote a piece this week about giving up. I don't think I've ever seriously considered giving up, but I've certainly questioned whether I was wasting my time. A lot of writers will tell you that perseverance is the key to success. It's a major part, that's true, but talent and skill also come into play, just like any other skill based creative career. There are some who will never sell a story no matter how hard they try.
Fortunately this insecurity I have about my own work means I cannot presume another sale will follow. I hope it does, but I also recognise it's a tough world out there and I must work harder to ensure I improve my writing.
This first sale was only the foundation, but I am determined to build on it.