There’s a moment that every writer hits eventually if they wish to persist in doing it for the rest of their lives. Like rolling a 20 for the first time or bowling a strike, on a long enough timeline if you stick with the enjoyment of what you are doing, and ignore actually trying to to achieve it, it will occur.
I have a number of different irons in the fire on this front, but I’ve officially been offered payment for something I wrote for the first time. Not just been offered payment, but offered payment by John Scalzi, Hugo award winning sci fi author. I’ve come to the very edge of being offered payment, something I will write about soon, but not crossed the actual finish line of “I need to know where to send the check”.
I’m more than a bit flipped out and humbled to have been chosen as a “special guest star” entry for the result of this. I submitted my entry outside the contest as a lark. I specifically noted that I did not want to be included in the actual contest to win the prize (meaning the entry would be featured and paid 10 cents a word in an online charity chapbook.) The winners were recently announced and I congratulate them as I cannot wait to read their stories.
Imagine my surprise however when John Scalzi contacted me yesterday to note that my entry would be featured in the chapbook as a special guest star entry and that they wished to pay me the contest winners rate for the work, could I please provide them with PayPal or physical address information for the payment.
I’d just woken up, reading email on my iPhone while Remington took my stirring as a sign that it was time to do his puppy thing of being incredibly fucking cheerful in the morning just because it was morning. I lay there for a second fending off his attempts to wriggle all over me and processed. Then I put the phone down and tickled him. I sat up and grinned. There was no way I was going to accept the payment, the entire point of the contest was for charity. I would gladly forego the payment.
But someone…wait that’s not even close to describing it… an author I respected and admired, had wanted to pay me for my work. I squeed.
I tapped out a quick response declining payment but saying I was honored to be included in the chapbook. John (I feel weird calling him John Scalzi now, but part of me wants to call him Mr. Scalzi) mailed back to say that was great and details on the book would be forthcoming. As soon as I have them I will post them here to promote it.