I just sold a story to Thaumatrope. It will appear on March 23, 2009.
Thaumatrope buys and publishes short pieces of fiction. Really short, like teeny-weeny short, the kind that will fit in a 140 character Twitter post. Yes, 140 characters.
This makes the very first thing I have ever sold for actual money. Yog's law applies - the money is flowing towards me, so this is a real sale. Granted, I'm not going to be able to quit my day job on $1.20, but I wouldn't be able to quit my day job on an advance of $50,000.20 from Random House, either.
The internal self-defeating critic in me wonders if the editor is buying anything that gets sent to him at this point, in order to achieve some goal of his own devising. This would mean that, no matter how crappy my piece was, it would have been bought.
Maybe so, internal self-defeating critic, but you know what? It was bought. That means that in this particular time, this particular place, this particular venue, it was worth shelling out $1.20 for.
I don't think I will ever get any public accolade or any fiduciary recompense for my writing that will be sufficient to drive from the back of my mind the nagging suspicion that my work really kind of sucks.
That being the case, that I will never fully accept that my work is good, I need to learn to accept that, if an editor buys it, that is admissible evidence that my work is good enough.