Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Small Confession

Hello folks!
Sorry for the appallingly long absence. Been continuing to struggle with poor health, but in the last few weeks, I think I might, actually, finally, be better. It's been eight months...

Anyway, my small confession is that I sold a story. About a month ago, whilst on holiday in Scotland (how perfect is that) I received an email from the adorable Jill Finlay at The Weekly News, asking to buy a 1000-word twist-in-the-tale. Well, having been writing shorties for two and a half years, and having sold precisely... nothing... up to that point, you can imagine how carefully I had to consider my answer.

Yeeeeeessss!!!

So, to all you struggling newbies, let me also confess that I have subbed over fifty stories to get that hit. So keep going. I won't give you the J. A. Konrath quote again, but how about this one by Tim Clare, via Sally Zigmond and Womagwriter: "Getting published is about practising until you're really good, then persevering until you're really lucky."

Am writing this now, having just received payment for my story. Real money, in my back account! I'm not going to spend it yet - I'm about to go back to Scotland for a week and could do with an emergency float - but as soon as I've got some spare (next month... always next month...) I'm going to put it towards a red iPod nano. If you buy directly from Apple, they'll engrave it for free, so I'm going to have them put: "This is what I bought with my first short-story payment." I know it won't last for ever, and I can hear my (late) mother chastising me bitterly about this fact, but hell, it'll give me loads of pleasure while I have it, and perhaps I'll have earned some more shorty cash by the time it stops working. Yey!

What will you/did you spend your first-writing earnings on?

28 comments:

ChrisH said...

Well done! I bought myself a teeny, tiny diamond ring AND LOST IT!! Can you believe it - it disappeared in a housemove.

Lane said...

Well done. I think that's a lovely idea. Especially a red one:-)

I can't remember what I spent it on. As it was the 80s (and very little) it was probably shoulder pads or something:-)

And well done again. Really. x

Queenie said...

Hurrah, hurrah! I'm planning a new tattoo. It'll take more than the earnings from my first story - more like my first four or five stories (I've sold three so far) - but it will be permanent, and I won't lose it unless I have to have my leg amputated.

Lily Sheehan said...

Congratulations!!

I'd probably go with the Tattoo too. I was going to get one when I got my first (and only) short story published but couldnt think what to get. I didnt get paid for it either but If ever I get paid for one I'll want something permanent. I really like the idea of engraving something, especially an ipod!!

JJ Beattie said...

YAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYY to you. That's so brilliant.

I love the idea of the engraved ipod and of course, even after it's totally defunct, you will have to keep it to look at the engraving again and again and again.

TOM FOOLERY said...

Very well done m'dear. Enjoy your red iPod. Good to hear you're feeling a tad better :-) TFx

Karen said...

You definitely deserve the ipod Leigh (great colour) and glad you're feeling better now :o)

I put my first story cheque towards a new carpet for the bedroom - boring, but I was really chuffed with it!

SpiralSkies said...

Oh, you can't imagine how much that made me smile - I'm so thrilled for you!

YAY! Glad you're feeling more perky too X

B said...

oh leigh how very exciting! well done! do let us know when it'll be published so we can all rush out to buy it :)

Captain Black said...

It's extremely unlikely that I'll earn money from writing but if I did, I'd probably put it towards one of those little netbooks.

Glad to hear you're on the mend and well done for selling your story. Enjoy Scoootland.

Leigh said...

ChrisH - Oh NO! Heartbreaking!!! I know it wouldn't be the same, but I hope you replaced it.

Lane - Not a nice pair of wedges? ;-)

Queenie - Oh, I love the idea of a tattoo, almost. But know I would never actually have one done. If I ever talk in earnest about the possibility, assume I'm drunk and take me home.

Lily - Well, I suppose a tattoo is a sort of engraving! Certainly permanent!

JJ - Yes, I will have to keep it even when it's not working, and this is preying on the mind of my anti-hoarding obsession...

TF - Thank you, honey.

Karen - I have a red shuffle already, so I'm just wanting the nano to match!

Spiral - Thank you, sweetie. Definitely more perky; just in time for various fun events next month. Yey!!

B - That's a really kind thought, but it's been published already. Weeks ago. Hopefully, there will be another one...

Captain - A netbook would be marvellous (if only Apple made them), and so would the short-story earnings to buy one! Scotland will be marvellous too, thank you!

SueG said...

Hey, fantastic!! Well done. What a feeling, eh? I bought myself a lovely leather card case from Smythson -- I guess it was my way to say to myself that this wouldn't be the first and only payment. And, more importantly, I'm so glad to hear you're starting to feel better!

Debs said...

Brilliant news, congratulations.

I think I'll take up tattooing, I think I'll make a bit of money that way, certainly not doing it by writing...

Carol said...

Oh that is just fantastic news!! *does happy dance on your behalf*

I love the idea of getting it engraved...and when it no longer works you could frame it :-)

C x

Bernadette said...

Great to have you back in better health, and so pleased about your success. Long may they both continue!

Rebecca said...

congrats! well done! An ipod is just perfect! Particularly with the engraving.

With my first ever payment for writing ($100 - wow!) I think I bought toilet paper and sausages, or some such exciting thing.

Am glad you're feeling better. 8 months is a LONG time to feel poorly. :(

HelenMHunt said...

Clever, clever girl!

Colette said...

Congratuations. Can't remember what I spent it on. It probably went towards the gas bill or soething equally mundane.

sheepish said...

Absolutely brilliant news and glad to hear you are feeling better. The rate i'm going I shall probably have to spend my first payment on a zimmer frame.

Leigh said...

Sue - Hi Sue [waves]. A leather card case sounds lovely. I hope you still have/use it.

Debs - Ooh, now how creative would that be? What a great idea!

Carol - Be careful dancing love; don't spill your wine ;-) I like the idea of a framed iPod!

Bernadette - Thank you! A lovely sentiment!

Rebecca - Well, an iPod's no use when you need loo roll!

Helen - Well, you probably had a small amount to do with it, eh? So, thank you!

Colette - As mine nearly did. Checked myself just in time!

Sheepish - Oooh, don't talk like that! Positive, lovey. You have to be positive!!

Calistro said...

Congratulations!!! It's such an amazing feel isn't it :)

And I LOVE your idea about engraving the ipod nano. Brilliant! The first bit of money I received from writing was £30 for winning a flash fiction competition. I bought myself a silver bracelet from ebay. Whenever I wore it I'd look at it and think, my writing bought me that. It's a great feeling :)

Fia said...

Congratulations. Great news and the first of many.

I spent my dosh on food I think. It just sort of disappeared once I'd banked it.

Troy said...

What great news! I do enjoy reading your quarterly blog. I've never had anything published for money, unlike successful authors such as yourself, so I'm not able to tell you what I bought.

womagwriter said...

It's a great feeling isn't it! I bought jewellery with my first payment.

And with my second.

And a very nice handbag with my first TAB sale proceeds.

Enjoy the iPod which is a great idea and not nearly as girly and frivolous as I sound from this comment!

Flixton Mum said...

Having just received two rejections, I am greatly heartened by your news.
Well done.
I've no idea what I would spend my first payment on, probably something extremely dull like new batteries.

Graeme K Talboys said...

Brilliant. And a great way to spend the dosh. My first cheque came just in time to cover a large electricity bill. But I made up for it with later ones.

Leigh said...

Calistro - Amazing indeed! Jewellery is a nice idea too.

Fia - I think mine has also disappeared, from the bank at least, but it's still there in my head, and won't be wasted.

Troy - All the most respectable journals are published quarterly, you know?

Womagwriter - Girly? Ha ha ha! Pink walking boots is about as girly as I can picture you!

Flixton Mum - I too was much heartened by other peoples' hits. Hope you get your own very, very soon. It will happen.

Graeme - I'm hoping there will be more too ;-)

DJ Kirkby said...

Congratulations. I've used some of my first royalties to pay for an ameinity bed in hospital when I have my op. The op is bad enough never mind having to share a room with 3 other people so I feel very lcuky to have some 'found' money to spend as I wish on a luxury such as this.