Posted by Autumn Jordon | 8:27 AM | 21 comments »

“The Magic Key. Who has it?” She leans closer and whispers, “Or is it a Magic handshake?”

I look at her, studying her, trying to decide if she can handle the secret that will open the publishing world to her. After a very long ten seconds I say, “You really want to know?”

Her head joggles like a bobble head doll as she reaches for her pen and notepad.

My eyes shift around the room. I slant toward her and say, “Five words.”

I can see a speck of moisture form at the corner of her mouth as she waits for the tidbit.

“Trial and Error. And hard work.”

The raring-to-go newbie’s spine stiffens. The sparkle in her eyes dim. “That’s it? That’s not a secret.”

“No, it’s not.”

“I guess you don’t know it.”
I shrug. “If you don’t believe me, then go ask Nora, Sherilyn, Suz, Kasey, Jan, Brenda, Nancy, Vicki, Ann, Deb, Jordan, Misty, Steph, Beth, Linda, Carolyn, Allison, Charity, SEP, Karen, Jen, Kathy, Hank, or Roni,? I can give you a few more names. ”

“Humph.” She walked away already in search of someone else to befriend in hopes of finding the magic key.

Success is earned through gaining knowledge of your industry, hard-work and determination. JMO.


  1. Beth Trissel // August 29, 2009 at 9:19 AM  

    So true, so true. And it takes years. At least it did for me.

  2. Autumn Jordon // August 29, 2009 at 10:19 AM  

    I was a pre-author for years too. But, we did it, right? And you know, I don't think I would give back those years. I recieved the equivalent of a college education by attending workshops, conferences and through other authors. GRIN

    I'm rolling up my sleeves now and starting another job. HUGE GRIN

  3. Diana Layne // August 29, 2009 at 10:27 AM  

    Good advice, Autumn. I also like "Put your butt in the chair and write." :)

  4. Lynne Roberts // August 29, 2009 at 10:40 AM  

    Excellent post, Autumn. It's so true. Writing is work: hard work. I also love what you said about recieving the equivalent of a college education in your pursuit of publication. It's true.

    Thanks for posting. : )

  5. Autumn Jordon // August 29, 2009 at 10:47 AM  

    Hey, Diana. Did you ever hear the saying, He's so smart, he's stupid.


    Thank you for watching my back. wink


  6. Autumn Jordon // August 29, 2009 at 10:50 AM  

    Good morning, Lynne. I truly feel that way. I looked at every workshop/conference/meeting as if I was attending classes. Soaking up everything I could. You never know when you might use it. I just have trouble filing the file sometime. LOL. There is just so much to learn. Don't you think?


  7. Allison Chase // August 29, 2009 at 11:17 AM  

    For me, it was hard work and persistence - never giving up. In the years before I was published, as soon as I began submitting one manuscript, I started another. It wasn't until my sixth ms. that I finally sold...since then I've sold numbers five and four (in that order), but only after extensive revisions. Learn, write, revise, submit and always continue to grow as a writer.

  8. Autumn Jordon // August 29, 2009 at 11:28 AM  

    Wonderful advice, Allison. I sold book five this year and six. Once I'm through edits, I'm finishing seven and submitting. Then I'm going to look hard at four and three. I think they'll find a home, but with revisions like you said.

    Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experience. See you on FB. wink.


  9. Judy // August 29, 2009 at 11:50 AM  

    Loved your post, Autumn. It's a whole lot of hard work whether you're pre-published like me or published. Someone the other day asked, "Are you still working?" and I said, "I'm always working on my stories." But if I didn't love it, I wouldn't do it--even when I sometimes hate the business! LOL

  10. Gwynlyn MacKenzie // August 29, 2009 at 12:24 PM  

    Ah, yes, the Magic Key. Right up there with the Fountain of Youth when it comes to Fantasy Fixes. Don't we wish it were that easy? But you needed to add ambition and persistance to the wisdom you imparted. Ambition is a must since nothing else can keep you in the chair when it seems your muse has fled. Persistance---well, we all know the lyric to that tune.

    Nice blog, Autumn.

  11. Autumn Jordon // August 29, 2009 at 12:46 PM  

    Judy, You nailed it! You have to keep pugging away and learning. I always, always say I can learn from anyone.

    Thanks for posting. Sharing ideas is important. You could've inspired someone today and not know it. DOUBLE WINK.


    I'm going to include my website url on some posts because I'm starting a newsletter and if you'd like to sign up you can do it there.

  12. Darynda // August 29, 2009 at 12:48 PM  

    Great post, di! Loved it!

    The Magic Key is kind of like the Ruby Sisters' Wizard, eh? If only it were that easy.

    After three complete manuscripts I can definitely attest to the trail and error thing.

    I was at a workshop with Jodi Thomas and she said something that was apparently "old" to her, but it was competely new to me. She said, "You have to write a thousand pages before you can get published."

    My mind went to work immediately counting all the pages I'd written since I's started writing toward publication. I have crossed the boundary, though not by much, and I just sold. I think there is something to this notion.

    Trial and error. Hard work. Amen, sister!

  13. Autumn Jordon // August 29, 2009 at 12:51 PM  

    Hi, Gwen. I love Gwen. She is a mentor to me. She always says the right thing. ALWAYS!

    You are so right, lady. I know a guy who is a genius, but no amibition. None. He could do so much for the world, but atlast he is content to do nothing. NA A THING. Sad.

    Ambition without the words, no matter how befuddled (is that a word), is necessary to gain success.

    Good call, Gwen. (((HUGS)))


  14. Autumn Jordon // August 29, 2009 at 1:15 PM  

    Hey, Darynda. That is so cool. I never heard that before. The more I talk to pubbed authors, I think writing three books before selling is the norm.

    How can the editors tell? Is the writing so much better? What did it for you?


  15. Mary Marvella // August 29, 2009 at 1:49 PM  

    Excellent first post as an official member here, Autumn!

    I watch writers give up after so little time and effort. This job isn't for sissies! It's hard!

    I have my share of manuscripts "under my bed" as we used to say. I also have my share of rejections, including a recent one.

    One day I'll hit the right editor with the right manuscript on the right day! Lordy, please let it be true!

  16. Autumn Jordon // August 29, 2009 at 1:59 PM  

    HUGS on R, Mary. Just keep in mind it's part of the business. You WILL land on the right-for-you editor's desk at the prefect time and that ms will be snugged up. Just keep studying, writing and submitting.

    Also, keep in mind multi-pubbed authors get those R's too. They just get them faster and usually as a phone call. SO their editor or agents actually hear them wail.

    LOL. Thanks for the encouragment. I was really nervous.


  17. Scarlet Pumpernickel // August 29, 2009 at 4:55 PM  

    Autumn, welcome to the pink fuzzies! We are please to have you as a member!

  18. Autumn Jordon // August 29, 2009 at 5:00 PM  

    Thanks, Scarlet. I'm enjoying the comments. AJ

  19. Mary Ricksen // August 29, 2009 at 7:36 PM  

    Even if it kills you!

  20. Autumn Jordon // August 29, 2009 at 9:00 PM  

    It won't. Too many friends helping, cheering, supporting you.

  21. Autumn Jordon // August 29, 2009 at 9:58 PM  

    Thanks, ladies. I'll be back....