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I Get Paid to Do This? January 22, 2009

Okay, so it finally feels real. I got the contract in the mail, and the check payable to me upon signing with Avon for the three book deal.

I had NO idea how gratifying it would be to get real money for writing, not just the two-copy payment most writers cut their teeth on. Paid? Really? Where's the hidden camera? Come on.

I've been calling myself a writer for so long, even though the first question I always seem to get is, "Really? You get paid to do that?" Then I have to shake my head and say firmly, "Not really, but it's what I do."

Now? Getting a payment in the mail is a validation I never knew I craved. Sure, most of it is going to taxes and bills and fixing the water heater and getting a dishwasher which I hear will extend our marriage warranty.

But I did something really smart. I was talking to Lala in the kitchen, right after I opened the FedEx envelope. My hands were still kind of shaky.  I said, "Maybe now, just maybe, I'll get those shoes I've been wanting for so long. But maybe not...." Then I decided, hey. I'm GETTING the shoes. I stood up, went in my office, opened Zappos.com and ordered my Dansko Sallys, size 39.


Sexiest shoes ever, shoes that seriously go with every single thing I own, from jeans to dresses. I first saw those shoes on Too Much Wool Cassie, when I met her for the first time in New York five years ago. I remember we were standing in front of Purl Soho, and I said, "THOSE ARE THE BEST SHOES I'VE EVER SEEN." I've wanted them since then. Cassie, we are twinners now.

And it is possible that later today I will go buy a celebratory skein or two of yarn. In the past I've celebrated things (like the completion of the Nanowrimo that led to this book) with really nice yarn made into socks -- memory socks. I think I might do that again. Hooray!

Also, in big news: I HAVE AN ISBN. An ISBN of my own. Actually, I have three reserved, although since I bet they can get changed before publication, I will wait till the books are out to get them as tattoos. But seriously, wouldn't that be a cool tattoo idea? DUDE.


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It is so awesome to be validated with a paycheck for what you do, and know that the world is appreciating it.

Hey! You wear size 39 Danskos?

Would you like another pair, gently used black Mary Janes? I can't wear them anymore, my feet grew up to size 41. They aren't quite as sexy as those, but they are really nice shoes :)

Great tattoo idea, especially once they have been published (so you know they won't change!)

wow. That is so so great. I love getting to read that you are getting paid to write. And those seriously are sexy shoes.

I got some of my grandad's socks when he died. I call them my memory socks.

Congratulations on living the dream.

The day I get my first ISBN I am totally getting it tattooed. Dude!

Oh and big freakin' congrats!!!!

Yay for you! You need to find a librarian friend whose library will buy your book so they can send you a copy of your MARC record. Or you can get it from the Library of Congress. Completely geeky, but cool!

I've wanted a pair of those for just about forever. Bravo! And go you. ;)

Congrats! I remember the way I felt when the first piece of jewellery I designed sold and I made a profit:)

YAY! Awesome! Super hot shoes!

I love those Dansko Sallys. I even tried them on, but they didn’t fit my feet, so I had to settle for the Dansko Marcelle. I’m a little jealous. Just a little.
Your own ISBN tattoo is the coolest thing I have ever heard!


Ohmygod you get paid to do this! WOW!

Congrats and great shoes!


You're paying bills with writing money! Oh yeah! (that's what you do with the money you earn doing what you do) (after the treat!)

I was thinking the LC or the dewey number would be kinda cool too.. but ISBN is pretty awesome.

I don't know if I agree with the tattoo idea; I'm worried that after your 40th or 45th book is published it'll start to look crowded....


Hee. The first thing I thought was, "That is SO COOL." Congrats!

Excellent celebratory tactics, too. I admit I'd go for those shoes too. They look like they know how to party.

So totally awesome...your first check and to think I just started my first chapter...LoL
Those shoes are so totally my style...LOVE them.
Congrats...I'm looking forward to your first publication.

Yay!! Awesome to get paid. What a validation; the "World" actually thinks you write well. Congratulations! I can't wait to read the book.

Dude, it would be SO cool to get a tattoo of your ISBNs!! That makes me want to write a book so I can get one, too. Genius!


That is an AWESOME tattoo idea. Congrats!

I absolutely love your new memory shoes. They are awesome, and now I'm envious of you for both your book deal and your shoes. Can't wait to read ALL OF THEM! Totally love the ISBN tattoo idea.

Love me some Dansko's. And I am so proud of you and your books. I can't wait to go buy them.

as for the dishwasher, get a good one that is quiet. Seriously, mine is so loud I can hardly function, but my brothers is so quiet you can hardly tell it is running. There is a direct correlation between dollars expended and noise emitted!

Love the shoes, really love the tattoo idea! Congratulations!

I hope you won't get tired of me saying how proud of you I am and how thrilled for you.

You were right, life is interesting, and now yours can be interesting in great shoes and as a paid author!

So happy for you!

I'm GLAD you got the shoes. You earned them baby.

Oh, Rachael!!!! I remember when I first found you online and you were in your little apartment (with George outside the window, I recall, the giant plant) even before you got the condo and before you met Banjo Girl...And you were sitting outside and writing, writing....What a long, wonderful trip it's been, eh?
I send you and Lala many, many hugs.

Only the best tattoo idea EVER (contemplating new ink myself).

Nice shoes, too. You rock.

I think an ISBN tattoo is wonderful. I adore the idea.

congratulations! and thank you for the link to the shoes...i bought them, too!


Wooooooooooooooo! Congratulations! :D

Congratulations, Rachael!I look forward reading your first published book. Those beautiful shoes seem to fit perfectly. Have a nice week-end! xoxo

Hey! I am a librarian, but I just started following your blog so I don't know the title of your book-

let me know what it is and when it comes out...
I hope to one day be a published author and the thought of new shoes and yarn just add to the fantasy.

Congrats on your ISBN!!! And your money!!! And your shoes!!! I am really happy for you...

The shoes are fantastic. I need to get myself a pair like that. And congrats on the new contract!!!! Does this mean you will give your day job though?

And if you ever want some unbiased reviews, I will be happy to do the reviews. I can be bribed easily with fiber and yarn.

I love you, and I'm glad you're getting paid for writing.


Congratulations! I am eager to become one of your avid readers, hard copy.

I am always supportive of purchasing super cute celebratory shoes. I heart shoes...*sigh

If you get the ISBN tattoos, you should get the bar codes too.

Awe. Some. Shoes.


Congratulations, Rach! Love the shoes - don't you just heart Zappos? Package comes the next day. Instant gratification. Woot!

Got the shoes, getting the dishwasher, now buy the YARN, you deserve ALL of it! Congratulations!

Yay for the paycheck! Plus kudos for establishing a "book check equals shoe" trend. When you've become Barbara Cartland with an Imelda Marcos habit...

Check out danskooutlet.com. Great deals.

I would so get that tat done, but I'd do it a little differently. Maybe put the title of the book in that beautiful script tattoo artists use above the ISBN and surround it with swirls, flowers, and something meaningful to you and Lala. But of course, I'm the Harley tattoo queen who is getting new ink myself. Now that I live about an hour or so from Los Angeles, I'm going to that place where "LA Ink" is and have one of those awesome designers put the name of my bike surrounded with something really cool on my front shoulder, fanning out across the top of my shoulder and a little up my neck.

Nobody has ever accused me of being "normal". :)

ISBN tattoo, heh! More permanent than memory socks, but just as cool an idea.

Congratulations! We are all so excited on your behalf!

(And the shoes ARE awesome.)

Yay for the check. Congrats!! And a big YAY for the Sally Danskos! I just bought these this weekend and I absolutely LOVE them! http://zeta.zappos.com/product/121214/color/10374

I have those shoes! They are awesome. Way to celebrate your huge accomplishment!

I love the pix of you rock-climbing, too. I used to climb a lot (like, outside! before there were gyms!) but I think my knees would be unhappy with me if I went now. Gyms are a great way to climb. Try it outside sometime, too -- it's a whole different thing.

Congrats! Congrats! Congrats!

I can't wait for the day I get paid for loving my job (it's not going to happen anytime soon, I can tell you that!)!

I'm way, WAY behind here. But you know what? Mine weren't the same as those, and they weren't nearly as sexy.

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Rachael loves it when book clubs read her work! She's happy to attend book clubs that read her books either in person or via Skype. Contact her at rachael@rachaelherron.com to make arrangements.


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