What Is Luck To The Writer?

Posted: April 2, 2013 in Living and Life, Reflections, Writing
Tags: ,

Two posts I read recently got me thinking about something that many people talk about or wish they had: luck. Some people say there is no luck or if there is you make your own. Some say luck is something where a strange series of random events play out in your favor. And others say there’s a strange system or algorithm to luck that sometimes you can tap into, especially when you have a rabbit’s foot or some talisman like that. But how does luck work in the writing business, especially in these turbulent times when the author has to do so much themselves just to get their work into the hands readers, even the interested ones?

Well, that depends on who you ask: my friend and fellow author Pat Bertram (you might remember her as the person who did that wonderful interview a while back) mused in her article on the nature of luck and quoted a professor who believed that luck was the result of a consistently positive outlook on life (for the article look here: http://ptbertram.wordpress.com/2013/03/13/can-you-change-your-luck/). And today, I read another author by the name of Richard Levesque, who concluded that no matter how much work you do on your own to advertise your book, luck still plays a big part in your success (for his post read here: http://richardlevesqueauthor.wordpress.com/2013/04/01/how-much-does-random-chance-account-for-a-writers-success/).

What’s my take? Well…it’s a little bit of both, with some of my own spiritual beliefs mixed in. First, I think having a positive outlook helps everyone on the road of life. You can be in a wrestling match and feel discouraged that the guy you’re facing is bigger and weights much more than you and let him beat you…or you can let yourself stay positive, notice that his weight is great but his stance is sloppy, and tackle him that way. You’l think “Lucky I noticed that”, but truth is, you were able to do that because you didn’t let yourself admit defeat and kept fighting, not just physically but mentally and psychologically, which allowed you to see that winning move.

At the same time, sometimes luck comes in random coincidences and events. Some of you remember nearly a year ago that I wrote a review for Anne Rice’s The Wolf Gift, then I sent her a letter telling her I enjoyed the book and including a link to the review, should she ever get bored. Well, either Ms. Rice reads a lot of her mail and all reviews she can find or she was bored, because the next Friday she linked my review to her Facebook page, causing my stats to explode. Never expected that to happen, and to think that Ms. Rice read my letter, let alone my review, still amazes me.

Still, I think that those random events and coincidences might be sometimes manipulated by The Big Guy Upstairs. Why do so many people thank God after they’ve won or achieved something so important in their lives? Maybe becuase on some level they realize that a certain Some Being helped them achieve that goal. At least, that’s what it seems to me, and it’s the reason why I thank Him for so many good things that happen in my life.

However luck works, it’s undeniable that it does act in a writer’s life. JK Rowling was lucky that her books were such successes, and Psy was lucky that his video, out of so many, became such a viral hit. In essence, luck is something that gives artists of all types boosts so that they become great. I don’t know if this great luck will ever come to me, but that doesn’t stop me from hoping that it will. But until that luck comes to me, I’ll keep fighting and working so that my success can come that much more easily.

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