Tuesday, February 8, 2011
What's luck got to do with being a good writer? Pretty much everything
For one, I'd like a small acreage located near where I live now. It should have a house with a wrap around porch and a bench for me to sit on and watch the world go by. It should have a metal gate for keeping the kids in, and a small barn in the back for any animals I may attempt to own. I'd also like a spot for my parents to have a mobile home, just so I could see them more than once every 2 years. The land should have enough room for my husband to grab his excavator and build some dirt jumps for him and the kids.
Yet another dream? I'd like to write a few books and have them published. Nothing crazy. I'm not shooting for the New York best seller list, but to be able to make a decent income doing what I love is a dream of mine. Not only because I have four kids to raise, but because I love writing.
Neither of these dreams are unobtainable. To get the house, I just need to find a job and/or a steady stream of gigs to supplement our current income. Writing the book is a bit harder. I have quite a few ideas, just no time beyond my current family and writing gigs to actually start. I'd also have to say that I'm sort of afraid to go there, but that is an entirely different post.
I've viewed my life as a sort of ladder. Since I've started writing I've taken it one rung at a time. One job led to another, which led to another, and as my confidence in my writing has grown so has my desire to go beyond what I have already accomplished. I've written for some very amazing clients, and I'm happy to continue doing just that. But on another level, I need to take it one step further. In the immortal words of Walt Disney:
A person should set his goals as early as he can and devote all his energy and talent to getting there. With enough effort, he may achieve it. Or he may find something that is even more rewarding. But in the end, no matter what the outcome, he will know he has been alive.
Which leads me to something I have been pondering. What does luck have to do with advancing your writing career? If you asked me, I'd have to say a lot. I read a book once called "Lucky or Smart: Secrets to an Entrepreneurial Life" by Bo Peabody. It didn't change my life, but it certainly made me realize that I could be a prolific writer and if no one ever gave me a chance? I could go back to bagging groceries at the local Save On or just really focus on cleaning up after the kids for a change.
Isn't luck really about being in the right place at the right time? No matter if its who you tweet or whether you send in an query to an editor who is just looking for that topic, luck is basically when the Universe aligns and points its big finger at you and says, Today is YOUR DAY!
Yes, you should probably start with a basic talent, but I've seen some severely untalented writers take it to the next level and beyond. Case in point: Perez Hilton. If you look at it in a writing perspective, his success defies the imagination. Yet he is a famous blogger/writer and let's face it, he dresses much better than I do. Lauren Conrad wrote one best selling fiction novel called LA Candy. Her claim to fame? The Hills, an annoying 'reality' show that most likely has given every single girl a complex at one time or another. There are better writers out there, with sharp witted jabs and the ability to make you laugh or cry with the single twist of a synonym, yet they fester in obscurity. Why? The lucky break has not happened for them yet.
What does luck have to do with writing? I'd say everything. I read all of the books/blogs/news I can handle, and I make a point of writing something every single day. At some point or another, if I never receive a lucky break, I'll just be blogging into the abyss.
What do you think?