This is not to far off how my desk looks somedays.

The other day I was thinking about when I made my first professional sale as a writer. I thought that it would be simple to figure it out. Turns out that it was not so simple.

I made my first sale of a short story to a newspaper when I was in high school. However, it was a freebie, but it was my first credit.

In college, I put together an advertising program complete with copywriting the ads in 1988. I got paid for this project, but does it count as a writing sale?

My first paid article came in May 1993 when I wrote a piece called “Five Tips for User-Friendly Manuals” that was published in The Editorial Eye and they also later selected it for the inclusion in a book they published.

My first professionally paid short story sale wasn’t until 1995 when I had a short story published in Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Fantasy Magazine.

Then to top it off, I was a full-time marketing communications writer for a few years beginning in 1990. I wrote ads, brochures and sell sheets for a biotechnology company and also edited technical manuals.

So when did I become a professional writer? I guess any way you look at it, it has been a long time.