Lucky is Good.

I was watching Stargate SG 1, my all time favorite show, when something one of the characters said really struck a cord with me. The handsome young hero had engaged in deadly combat and survived.

Let me paraphrase here.

“He is good,” said the old warrior
“No, he is lucky,” snarled the loser.
The hero smiled and said, “Lucky is good.”

Lucky is good. How true, I wanted to shout.

I have always believed that I’m a lucky person. In my life, I have cheated death at least four times. That certainly qualifies me as lucky. On the other hand, facing my possible death four times before I’m 57 years old could make me unlucky. Which is it?

Is the glass half empty or half full? Great question. I see the glass half full. Every time.

Does someone get published because they were good or because they were lucky? Ask yourself—are you lucky or are you good? You may not think of yourself as either, but I believe you should.

The national organization, Romance Writers of America reports that a first time published author (of full length novels) has been writing an average of four years and has an average of four manuscripts completed before she sold.


I can tell you one thing about writing four manuscripts. Your craft improves a lot between 1 and 4. It took me eight years to get four manuscripts done. I was nearing the end of that fourth book when I sold. Gee, I wish I’d written those four books faster. Oh, well, with my hectic life back then I was lucky to get that much done.

Lucky or good? If you ask me, the writer who believes in her heart that she is LUCKY and GOOD is the one who will find her book for sale at Barns and Noble. No matter how long that journey takes.

So make your own luck. Get good. Get busy. Write a book, then write another, and another, and another. It does no good to write them and not send them out. No one buys a book that is still only a file in your computer. Swallow every painful rejection and use it to fuel your determination. Write more, send it out again. With a lot of hard work, you may discover that you are both good and lucky, too.



Joan Vincent said...

Good and lucky. I had never thought of the journey to publication in just this way, Pat, but you are very right. Luck has a great deal to do with being published but not quite as much as persistence and determination. These last two make up part of being "good" as much as writing skill. While I'm sure there's the exception, those who are determined and persist, who continue to write and send no matter how many rejections will one day succeed. Not only through luck but because in the pursuit they will gain the knowledge and skills they need to succeed. Thanks for reminding me of that!

Pat Davids said...

You are right about determination. That is every bit as important as luck in this business. Because if you are determined, you will make your own luck.

Jeannie said...

From the congregation comes an, "Amen, Sister!" 'Nuff said.

Nina Sipes said...

From every angle we hear of people having astounding luck. And you're right, you can't be lucky if your stories are still under the bed. On the other hand, there is no need to despair if someone else's not-as-good-story-like-yours is published. Theirs may have been seen and spoken for first. Luck is like that.

Becky A said...

Pat, where is the story of how you cheated death four times? That sounds like a good mix of drama, conflict, luck, persistance and determination. Throw in a hunk and a story is born.

Thanks for the great blog, Becky

Penny Rader said...

I sure am glad you cheated death, Pat. Can't wait to hear the stories behind the cheats. :D