Thursday, 20 September 2012

What Happens in the Vacuum


You've got to be mad to write really. It helps at least. The hours, if you are serious about your craft, could see you sue yourself for breach of the human rights act. The dreaded writers block, which never shows up until right before a deadline. The need to be a bit antisocial at times. And the fact that approximately 0% of all the writers who ever lived lucked into comfortable pay immediately.

Oh yes, writer's pay. Funny thing, that. Sections of my family were convinced for years (hell, some sections are still convinced!) that writing was the path to immediate success and money, and my lack of either was down to being far too lazy. Always have a helpful neurosis on hand too!

The truth of course was helpfully laid out by Jim Steel:



"I think the average figure quoted is something like £6000 per year, but of course that's with people like JK Rowling pulling the average way up."

Most writers make pittance. In fact, many make nothing whatsoever.

You need to be mad to write, really.

I made nothing but friendly smiles from my writing. I like those: happiness doesn't buy you money, but it does encourage more writing which may lead to money.

And given I hate sounding like a Dickensian villain, one should point out, it's also quite useful to actually like writing.

Anyhow,  that sounds like preamble to a point. It is.

As of this morning, I got paid for my first bit of writing ever. A short story called 'What Happens in the Vacuum'. It was based on this memory I had for a long time of a clip from a kids show which turned out to be false memory. So I decided to use it instead.

It's sort of SF (well, by my standards) and concerns a futuristic game show with a bit of a difference.

The story can be read here.

I don't feel right talking about the price it earned. The symbolism means far more to me. I do however beg pardon one second for this brag of sorts. It's not everyday you make your first ever proper sale as a writer, after all.

This story was edited for me by Justin Jessel, so many thanks to him!