My first 'publication'
Now I don't remember when I first felt that way, but as long as I can remember, one thought had somehow firmly entrenched itself in my mind- I was born to write. So in Grade 7, I solved that term's Maths textbook problems and stapled the solutions with my poems (figuring nobody would pay money for my poems alone!) and then sold them to my classmates at 50 cents a copy. Earned enough to splurge on ice cream and comics for many weeks to come. And most of all, for the first time ever, saw my name on the 'cover' of a 'book'.
The first thing my first publisher told me
"Are you serious?"
This was Mr. Khosla, a wonderful old man who ran Khosla Publishing, a pretty well known academic publisher in Delhi, when I went to his office as a 2nd year college student, telling him I had a book on Economics I wanted to publish. Am I grateful he took me seriously. Probably helped that my Mom had gone along with me!
The first thing I did with my first royalty cheque
Brought a huge box of pastries for Mr. Khosla and his family and then went out and partied with my Mom, gorging on junk food and laughing ourselves silly. Then spent a bit of it on cigarettes (which when I was in college, was a carefully hidden secret from my parents).
What I did with my first rejection letter
Can't even remember which publisher it was from, but I was young, and was trying to sell my first novel. Got what I now recognize as a `form' rejection letter, and was naive enough to write back to them thanking them for the reply and asking if they had any tips on how I could improve my chances. Needless to say, never got a reply.
Keep reading, and I'll keep writing.