Yesterday afternoon, my application to join the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America was accepted. I'm now a member.
This is a big deal for me. When I started this writing thing about seven years ago, I set myself two goals. Both of them were intermediary steps, but important ones. First, win Writers of the Future. (Haven't done that, and probably won't, but that's a different post.) Second, qualify for SFWA. Qualifying to join SFWA means, by the standards set by your peers, you are a professional writer.
One out of two isn't bad.
I actually qualified last fall. I waited until now because ... I'm not sure, really. I wanted my qualifying stories to all be published first. Somehow that makes it more real.
The three I qualified with are: "Shore Leave" in Galaxy's Edge; "The Temptation of Father Francis" with co-writer Nick T. Chan in Intergalactic Medicine Show, and "The Good Girl" in AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review.
I also could have picked from several sales to flash markets: three to Daily Science Fiction, one to Flash Fiction Online, and one to Nature. But those are shorter and it takes more of them to add up to the 10,000 words of pro-paying fiction that SFWA requires.
So what's next?
Keep writing, of course! That's the main thing.
I have a novel to finish, and then another one to start. There's a cool project that I need to jump into with Nick T. Chan, in which we're delving more into the world of Father Francis. And I have a story to write for the "Joe Ledger: Unstoppable" anthology.
That's more than enough to keep me busy.