Barbara Bretton

The Secret

I know why you're here. You're looking for The Secret, that magical last puzzle piece of information that published writers guard with their lives. You're sure there must be one and if you only knew what it was -- well, the sky would be the limit!

Guess what?

There is no secret.

I know, I know. I didn't believe it either, but it's true. Scout's honor. There's no secret formula or magic potion that can teach you how to sell what you write. I know, I know. I didn't like hearing that for the first time either. It made me feel the way I did when I found out there was no Santa Claus. I wish I could tell you that there was a wonderful little store in Greenwich Village or maybe just off Melrose in L.A. that carried The Secret by the ounce but I wouldn't be telling the truth.

You see, the only secret I know of is a very old one. Come closer and I'll whisper it in your ear.


Not very romantic, is it. Sitzfleisch means "butt to chair." There were days I thought I'd have to chain myself to my desk like a latter-day Houdini in order to get my pages done. Butt to chair. Whether you're working longhand with a pencil or composing on a state-of-the-art laptop with all the bells and whistles, it's always the same. The only way to get published is to write and write and write some more, then send what you have written out to market. No shortcuts. No secret handshake. Just plain old hard work.

You know . . . sitzfleisch.

That said, there are a few stories about the writer's trade that I'd like to share with you from time to time. I hope you'll stop back often. If there's something you'd like to see here, a story you'd like to share, or maybe even a secret or two, drop me a note.


Sentimental Journey
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Stranger in Paradise
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