“Luck is tenacity of purpose.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”
Writing about helping luck along (see Journey Wisely) prompted me to ponder its presence in our writing lives. Luck, simply defined as “good fortune,” is something we can all use more of, now and always.
First and foremost, let’s always remember this: We are already lucky! As authors and aspiring writers, we have the joy of dwelling in the realm of words and imagination — that golden place where anything and everything is possible. What a gift!
Second, I think that Seneca’s quote is worth meditating upon. Someone once said, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” Consider how liberating this view of luck is. It’s also tantalizing, because it suggests that we really can create our own luck through our own efforts and persistence. We can do the spade work, the preparation, so that when an opportunity comes our way, we can coax it into bearing fruit.
Third, I think there’s great value in the idea that there are steps we can take to make ourselves luckier, to actually boost our luck quotient. How do we do this? In a nutshell, we can help luck find us by putting ourselves in places and situations where good fortune is more likely to tap us on the shoulder, whether in the guise of a sparkling new idea or a chance encounter with someone who can give us a hand.
For me, this means getting out into the world and sharing what I’m working on and want to achieve with other people in my daily rounds and by attending events that will inspire me and expose me to people who can give me a hand. Some time ago, I was at a festival in my home town and ran into a friend active in indie publishing. I mentioned my children’s book and the name of someone I wanted to pass it on to. As soon as the name popped up, my friend said, “Oh, I was just on a panel with her recently. Send me an email and I’ll forward it on with a note.” And she did exactly that for me.
Was it lucky that we happened to meet? Yes. Did I nudge luck along by sharing what I needed help with? Absolutely. If I did it, you can, too. And just remember, you’re already lucky. You just need to be luckier — and you have everything you need to make that happen. And, as always, it’s worth reminding ourselves that when we reach out to help each other, Lady Luck surely smiles. Write on!