Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Do you feel LUCKY?

This is a post on LUCK and how it applies to writing.

Let me start with the famous quote from Mr. Eastwood:

I know what you’re thinking: "Did he fire six shots, or only five?" Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I’ve kinda lost track myself. But being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: "Do I feel lucky?" Well do ya, Punk?

Ask yourself that question: Do you feel LUCKY?

As a writer, much of our success is determined by luck. I don't have the numbers, but I bet luck makes up better than 70% of whether we are published at all, and the number goes up from there as you chase larger and larger publishers.

If you don't believe luck plays a huge role, then you have not been paying attention. King is famous for his ~wife~ submitting his breakout novel Carrie, in a unique manner, to someone who just happened to read it and appreciate it. How lucky is that!

Well, this post is about creating your own luck.


There are two ingredients to luck. The first is Persistence. Every time you try, you play the odds that you might get lucky (and land that publisher!). As you try less and less, your luck approaches zero, until at last you quit, and the chance of you being lucky is now an absolute zilch.

So Persist! Keep trying! My goal with writing is not to get published. My goal is to write until I die, or no longer have the mental and physical capacity to write. I hope at some point I will be picked up by a large publishing house, but I cannot control that event. All I can do is keep trying, keep trying, keep trying.

Which I will.

The second ingredient to luck is Intelligence! If all you do is Persist in the same way, over and over, you will never increase your luck chances. Instead, Persist in a SMARTER way each time.

If your book is not getting picked up, write another book. Make it better. Invest in some How-To books on writing, publishing, editing, and so forth. You are an expert on any topic if you read at least 5 books on that topic.

Are you an expert on writing? I am, a couple times over. Most published authors are.

Persist with Intelligence.

If you question that these are the two ingredients of luck, I want you to watch The World Series of Poker sometime.

These gamblers Persist by coming back to the table over and over, win or lose. They also are Intelligent about their craft.

Nobody argues that Poker requires luck, but as every Poker player will tell you: It isn't "gambling" if you know what you're doing.

The point is this: If you Persist Intelligently, luck will find you! You ~can~ beat the odds.

For my current novel, which I am querying, I plan to collect 30 rejections. Maybe one or two will result in a full-read, and maybe one will land a contract. This is Persistence.

I am also researching not only agents and publishers, but also studying for my next novel, and polishing up my editing skills (as always, keep the axe sharp!). This is Intelligence.

If you Persist Intelligently, if you are Intelligently Persistent, you ~will~ eventually find that luck that so many have missed.

Keep the faith.

Do you Persist Intelligently? Name a success of yours, a time when you earned a Blue Ribbon 1st Place, and tell me you didn't get there with Persistent Intelligence. I dare ya, Punk.

Eric W. Trant is a published author of several short stories and the novel Out of the Great Black Nothing. He is currently represented by Debrin Case at Open Heart Publishing. See more of Eric's work here: Publications



Wine and Words said...

Good points. I like you confident enough to say you are an exceptional writer. Persistence, Intelligence and Conifdence!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Persistence, intelligence, and timing!

Jai Joshi said...

Eric, I've no idea if I persist intelligently but I do try, haha. Great post.


dolorah said...

I persisted at Job hunting until I got lucky with the perfect agency for me.

I do have a couple stories I kept at that eventually found publication.

Now I just need to complete a few more that are not writing themselves. I have them stored in my computer and all that . .


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Don't know if it was persistent intelligence but I was lucky enough to find a publisher.

Phoenix said...

I really, really, really needed to hear this today.

Thank you, times one million.

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