That’s right. I wrote a thing, and The Billfold published it.
It feels like it took forever to get something published, but in reality, the amount of work I was submitting was pretty small. In fact, I’ve probably submitted more in the past month or so than I did all of last year.
A great bonus is that I’ll also be paid for this, and of course it feels like a huge step forward. That said, it’s funny how inconsequential it feels when it’s followed by a rejection from a sister site a few days later, but as a fellow writer once said, got to think of pieces as pets trying to find the right home. And that one’s a tough one to nail down in terms of relevance, timeliness, tone, subject, pretty much everything. It would do best, I think, in a local publication.
But all in all, I’m proud of myself. It feels good and a little bit weird, mostly because it’s memoir. On the one hand, I of course posted it all over my social media, meaning I quite publicly invited everyone from former teachers to classmates to coworkers to relatives to read it. This one isn’t too personal so that’s fine, but it’s bizarre to think that people I’m ordinarily not close with now have this glimpse into the inner workings of my brain. It’s a very new, strange sort of vulnerability, but the reaction has been positive–even in the piece’s comment section, which I risked peeking at since this is the kind of piece that’s unlikely to draw a strong, harsh reaction.
People seem to relate to it, actually, which is obviously a great feeling as a writer but is its own form of weirdness, too, although not necessarily in a bad way. It’s just that I’ve suddenly got strangers expressing thoughts on my life and experiences. This piece isn’t really mine anymore, you know? It’s gone from a little thing on my computer shared with a few other writers for feedback to this thing on the internet.
I can’t imagine what sort of proper existential crisis I’ll have when I publish something truly heavy.
But for now, this is an exciting start to a career beyond basic journalism and an exciting start to 2015.