The first time I got paid for it.

I don't recommend trying to smile while ugly crying.
You will end up looking like this.
But thank you husband for thinking to take
a picture of this rather huge moment.
Years ago I bought a book from the discount section of my favourite Winnipeg bookstore called "The first time I got paid for it." It was a collection of essays by writers telling the story of the first time they got paid for something they wrote. It became my bible of sorts. I wanted to have a story like theirs.

I finally have a story like theirs.

This is simultaneously the best picture and worst picture of me ever. Worst because well look at me. Messy hair, red face, obvious signs I've been crying, my sports bra is showing. Yeah...not the typical photo you willingly post on your blog for all the world to see.

Why is it the best? This is me seeing my authors bio, head shot and published article on Matador Network for the first time. My first paid piece of writing.

I've wanted to write since I could hold a crayon. I'm fairly sure if I ever write a bestseller or win a Pulitzer my parents will sell my scribblers full of nonsense stories written in crayon from when I was 4 years old on ebay. I'm only half joking about that.

I've plodding along at this writing thing for years. Years and years and years. I wrote for my high school paper (the whopping 4 issues of it). I wrote for University paper and for an ill fated online publication that while it promised payment it went the way of the Dodo quickly and a lot of writers never actually got paid. Myself included. Was I mad? Not really. They weren't offering much in regards to payment AND honestly, the stuff I did write for them, all three articles, weren't that great. Content mill material at best.

Since moving here my writing is gone beyond doing NaNoWriMo every year and blogging. Though I'm fairly sure that's what it looks like on the outside. In reality I've been trying to start a new career.

I've been working on my travel writing course and my travel photography course like it's my full time job. I submitted my midterm recently. A full length article with everything we've covered so far. This kind of stressed me out. I hadn't done a midterm since leaving University. I wrote about going to a hockey game. Yup, I did. Not long after I submitted and received some really good feedback from a faculty member I got a message. One of the content editors had seen my midterm in the student showcase (not as fancy as it sounds, everyones work goes into the student showcase and everyone has access to it) and he said he would like me to write a piece about Hockey spectating Swiss fans vs Canadian fans. AWESOME!!

Much happy dancing ensued. Then we took off to Rome.

Upon our arrival home I got writing.

*cue random freak outs*

I submitted and held my breath. I was asked for a short bio, a picture of myself and my paypal email. Pardon?! I called John. More happy dancing.

We celebrated my writing on the day when everyone else was celebrating hallmark sponsored love and glitter.

I haven't seen John THIS proud of me since I skated in my first roller derby bout. He's always been crazy proud of my accomplishments but this was different. This was going from writing with crayons to someone noticing and saying "hey, you're good. Could you write something for us."

Take 2...less ugly cry more tired writer.
It's taken a year and a half but I did it. I worked my ass off for this. No wishing upon a star required, just a lot of writing and rewriting and knowing eventually something might come of all the drafts and looking up narrative styles.

The best part though was yesterday. Seeing it. It was live online. It was published. I no longer had to say, "early next week" when people asked when it would go live. I opened my email last night and the content editor had sent me the link. There is was, in all its glory.

I declared to John, "I'm going to read it again!" He handed me a celebratory gin and soda.

And I read it again. And again. And again.


Yael said…
YAY!i'm so happy for you!
Jaim said…
I am, as always, proud of you.
Anne Marie said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anne Marie said…
I'm a tool, because I read this in my reader, came and said you forgot the link, then noticed that's not true....

either way, there are still MEGA HUGS FROM CANADA so proud of you!
me said…
Congrats!!! How cool is that?!
Anonymous said…
Congratulations, Tatiana. This is a landmark to remember. Jo
Macy said…
So fantastic! I thought of your accomplishment, and came back to read about it again. haha! Hmm...under your profile pic it says "writer-in-waiting" but IMO it could be time to upgrade it to "LEGIT writer BOOYAH" (or just "writer"). :D