Its that weird scenario; making money from your writing. I perpetually feel like I’m making money from lying. I’m making things up! Something comes from the ether and I give it to people and they give me money, which I use to exchange for goods and services. It’s crazy.
Its not easy and I have to admit, I think Gaiman got it right when he said, “somehow, you get your first job.” It’s true. Looking back I have no idea how to give advice on how to get that first job. My path was half accidental and occurred while I was trying to find work elsewhere. I ended up writing some blog posts here and there while reaching out over social media to meet other writers. Somehow, through flailing about in this way, I heard of a company that had a writer just simply fail to deliver something for an anthology. They were stuck and needed something delivered as soon as possible to make sure that their anthology was able to stay on schedule.
It was a fun and harrowing experience. I think I ended up writing about 15,000 words of a story in someone else’s universe in the course of a weekend. Then editing, tearing the thing apart and rebuilding it, tweaking it, all for it to be submitted shortly after on the hope that it would be something good. It got a good reception.
Since then I’ve held up this one example to other people and other companies that I can string sentences together to create plot, despite my own doubts about it. That got me more work. Now I’ve got projects humming along and I used these experiences to develop how I pitch things, how to get more work. It’s still an ongoing thing and I’m still learning the ropes, but those first little chunks of money are slinking their way in. There’s something special seeing that first little, tiny royalties check come in. I doubt I’m going to forget that feeling.
Now I keep hustling; keep working; keep pitching. I’m likely going to be back at a real day job soon but I don’t think I’m ever going to fully lose this feeling and I know that I’m going to keep writing.