HOW MUCH DOES LUCK HAVE TO DO WITH SUCCESS?
A LOT according to recent surveys and studies.
Yet not even the greatest art can be counted on to promote itself,
and even Dante required sales and distribution.
Luck has a big role in our lives, and many things are a matter of chance,
still long-term success tends not to be.
More often than not, opportunity finds you not the other way around.
Prosperity and growth come only to the writers that systematically find and exploit their potential.
Yet, talent and hard work only get you so far in business (including art, music, and writing).
You need a serendipitous moment here or there, that infamous lucky break, in order to succeed in our rapidly evolving world.
Take TWILIGHT ...
Stephanie Meyer wasn’t an experienced author with years of practice penning novels.
In fact, she hadn’t been writing much at all before getting an idea for her story and going from there.
She wasn’t well-versed in vampire lore and made things up as she went.
Much of the series’ success might be attributed to Meyer’s lack of knowledge,
which allowed her to tackle things from a fresh angle.
(The bumblebee flies in happy ignorance of the aerodynamic texts that say it cannot.)
Had she been better versed in vampire lore and gone with the accepted norms,
she couldn’t have written the same story, the one that resonated with so many teenage readers and rocketed her up the charts.
Still, her subsequent effort to re-create the magic, THE HOST, did not fare so well.
Consider Stephen King ...
CARRIE caught fire. He could sell on his name alone. He wanted to publish more than one book a year.
His publishers refused.
He then wrote under the pen-name Richard Bachman.
King failed to have that early break-out moment with his pen name books.
The Bachman books, despite being written by the same author with the same storytelling talents,
failed to gain traction until it was revealed that King was Bachman.
So, what does that mean for the rest of us? All we can do is hope to get lucky?
When it comes to novels, I think the lesson is
that most of us aren’t going to hit it big with one book.
But if we write ten or twenty books, the odds are much better of one becoming a hit.
So what are you doing still looking at this screen?
Go out and write another book!