Are you a member of a professional writers' organization?
When I started submitting my work for publication in the summer of '09, I had one goal: to be published. By the summer of the following year, I had two publication credits, and my aspirations grew to include breaking into a pro-paying magazine. By mid-2011, I really wanted to qualify for SFWA (Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America) membership, and I was determined to sell stories to three big-name zines in order to claim that holy grail.
After making sales to Daily Science Fiction and AE Science Fiction in '11 and '12, I knew I was close, and I just needed one more; but after plenty of near misses, I started to think the writing gods were taunting me, keeping that third sale I needed beyond my grasp.
Then last Thursday, after weeks of countless rejections, I finally had a story accepted: by Nature Futures. (Feel free to imagine wild and crazy fireworks at this point.)
So now I'm eligible to join the SFWA as an active, card-carrying member. (As long as I have $90 to spare, of course.) But the rebel in me is wondering...Is it worth it? Specifically, will it help me sell stories to top-tier publications or land an agent? Somehow, I don't think so.
But I'm more interested in what you think. Weigh in, won't you?