This has been one heck of a week, y’all. I’m still getting used to the changes. I have not sold a book, but my professional life changed in the space of one phone call. And then another call came that iced the cake even more. There have been emails, phone calls, old friends coming out of the woodwork. Mostly, it’s been great.

It’s also been somewhat distracting. I kind of got a glimmer of what it’s like for authors who keep checking their Amazon numbers or need to stop writing and take care of business tasks that won’t wait. You can get caught up following a task until you realize an hour has passed since you meant to stop and go do something else like, say, eat. ๐Ÿ™‚

And then there’s been the tiniest bit of, well, negativity floating my way. Most people are happy for me. A couple are not. It happens, and I understand that.

But I also feel somewhat blown away by it, by the idea that anyone would think I won the Harlequin contest or finaled in the Golden Heart due to anything other than hard work and a refusal to give up. I had this conversation once with a writer who got a fabulous book deal and then had people talking about how her “connections” are what did it for her. Her supposed connections weren’t connections. She wasn’t the First Dog or anything. (Millie the Spaniel wrote a book with Barbara Bush, you may remember…)

I certainly didn’t get to this point alone. I’ve been lucky enough to have a husband who believes in me, a critique partner who tells me the truth, and an entire organization telling me to climb back on the horse when I fell off. Most of my writing friends know the vagaries of this business from personal experience, but there are always those people who think there’s a secret handshake, a password into the temple of publishing.

There isn’t, folks. You write the best damn book you can, realize when it may not be good enough, and then write another one. And you always, always act like a professional. That’s the only secret I know.

Do you know any secrets to this biz? Why do you think a sensible person typically knows he can’t play Mozart overnight but expects to be able to write an amazing bestseller on the first try?

P.S. Party over at the Writing Playground today! It’s a Friday celebration by my friends at the Playground, so come on over and have a good time!