The Secret To Becoming a Published Author


A few of the "Expeditionary Team" and I gather at the studio to celebrate the Pre-Sale FaceBook Party.
What is the secret to becoming a published author? 
There is a plethora of books on the same theme. It's the popular class at a writing conference. I've been asked the same, a time or two. In fact, at an upcoming speaking engagement, it's the requested topic for which I'll prepare.
Sure, it's the hours of focused work at the keyboard and time spent in isolation from all of life's distractions (not an easy thing to do for an extravert). It's patience, and more patience, and more patience...It's picking yourself up again, and again, and again...when publishers say, "no, thank you".
It's studying writing craft books and trying to process all of the good advice. It's chopping out mountainous sections of text after hours of hard work. Then, just when you consider you have found a happy place, you invite the critique of others--thus, throwing yourself under the bus. That's merely the writing stage.
Finally, the momentous day occurs and you've won a publisher's heart (well, at least a contract). That, I have found, is when things get exciting--and busy, and busier, and busiest (sorry, I'm having a teacher moment). The incline of the learning curve entails ropes, carabiners, and crampons--it can be that steep. 
But, what's the secret? How did you really get there? From this writer's vantage point, the number one reason I'm blessed with the panorama of the whole experience of becoming a published author, is the support from friends and family. Yes, they are the secret ingredient--the ones who have infused the hope, confidence, and the needed momentum to keep me climbing. They are the expedition members who have secured the ropes, extended a hand, and shouted words of encouragement at the daunting chasms and seemingly impossible paths. 
Ah! The view is breathtaking at the summit, and you feel a bit lightheaded (perhaps from exhaustion). But, the most beautiful sight is this--those people in your life who have climbed alongside.  They have made the journey not only most enjoyable, but possible. 
One of my favorite climbing buddies, husband James.