A while ago I tweeted thusly:
It was, and still is, very exciting! Now, this is actually my second story to see publication, but my first contract. My first sold story was in Finnish and because the market is so much smaller, and everybody basically knows each other, the conventions can sometimes be a bit more loose, so that was published, if I recall correctly, on what was essentially a digital handshake. This is my first pro-paying sale, too.
So, what did I sell? I sold a short story called The Scale of Defiance to an anthology called Recognize Fascism. *ahem* Sorry, I said that wrong; I SOLD THE SCALE OF DEFIANCE TO RECOGNIZE FASCISM! The story itself is about a queer woman who’s been hiding the truth of her relationship from the world in exchange for safety that never actually materialized. And, as with any other state falling toward fascism, even that illusion of safety is rapidly disappearing.
I really like this story. There were some times there before I submitted it when I really didn’t. I wrote a whole draft that just did not feel right. So I shifted the focus and rewrote most of it. And suddenly, it turned into a story that I actually liked.
The reason that I like this story the most is that even though they were my words, it was also a group effort. My friends CJ Dugas and Jay Wolf helped me work out the story that I actually wanted to tell. Jenny Teerikangas, Miyuki Jane Pinckard, and Frida Vaughn all read it and helped me make it better. As did the editor and yet another friend, Crystal Huff, who also asked me to submit to the anthology. Without her, I don’t think I ever would have written this story, because it didn’t fit the plan. And finally, Rekka (who writes as R. J. Theodore) gave me the title. Some of these same people, plus some others tend to show up in the thank you rolls of pretty much all the fiction I write.
I can never overestimate just how important it is to find your writing community. Writing friends lift you us just as you ought to lift them up.