There is one fundamental part of being a successful writer that has nothing to do with who we are, or how well we have honed our skills.
Luck always has, and always will play a part in our personal developments. Now, I am of course talking about success in the more generalized and broad scope terms. I am talking about lots of sales, job quitting, full time writing, and best seller listing success.
It does not matter how good you are or how hard you work. Without that one fundamental ingredient, the job you are facing just grew exponentially.
Luck will make or break you. At least it can. I am not saying that without luck you will never get anywhere, far from it. But without that little lady on your side, the road is a lot rockier than anybody would like.
If you read the story of a lot of famous people, their big break often came as the result of a stroke of luck. Call it good fortune, call it fate, there are many names that we can use to describe it, but luck is what it is.
Whether it is because somebody knows somebody who knows someone, or because an old school friend works at a publishers and can get you in via the back door, to simple stumbling onto a genre that gets hot at the moment you publish your novel.
I do not begrudge anybody their success, and I do not advocate anybody do so, but it cannot be denied that there is a large degree of frustration that can rise when you see someone steaming ahead in life, not because they are necessarily better than you, but because they are luckier.
It never seems fair that success of that magnitude can be governed by something we, as individuals have no control over.
Still, I am never one to shy away from hard work, and would not want to take any good fortune that was handed to me, because it would feel hollow. That being said, a little slick of what that old silver clad lady dishes out would be nice from time to time, wouldn’t you agree.
I often see, and feel it myself, disappointment that book sales are so slow. But you need to be able to take a step back and see the bigger picture. One is that you did it. You actually wrote a novel, published it, either on your own or with a publisher. That in itself is an achievement. While some may say that in the modern day, where everybody can publish everything, it is no great feat, I would say, that to those writers that take it seriously, those the put in the heart and the work to write something, edit it and publish it, that is a marvellous achievement. Luck may appear to come easier to those who have money, but really, how lucky are they?
Secondly, never forget that it only takes one sale to cause a ground swell. One person has to read your book and say something, and it could catch fire. So next time you feel down for not having big sales numbers, remind yourself, that one is all you will ever need to make that big step. If lady luck smiles on you, it is one sale that will lead to all of the others. So celebrate your victories, and know that while she may not have shown herself just yet, Mrs. Luck is certainly out there, and we are all on her list. Luck certainly does not come to those who don’t work for it. Keep your head down, legs pumping and your hard work will be rewarded with a date with Ms. Luck in the future.