In 2012, I wrote a post at Janice Hardy’s blog, Fiction University. In it, I shared what I believed to be the key to success:
Making your own luck.
Here’s an excerpt:
Make Your Own Luck.
Yes, that’s right. These four words hold the key to your success. Read them again, and cement them into your brain.
Each of us knows how to work hard at writing. We read, we study, we write. We join critique groups, network and find mentors. This is the biggest part of success. But often hard work alone isn’t enough. We can hang there on the cusp, feel the air vibrating with greatness. Yet it dangles just beyond our fingertips.
This is where we need to do something that many of us don’t like. Something that goes beyond our writerly, keyboard-between-me-and-you selves…move out of our comfort zone. We need to learn to Make Our Own Luck.
It would be nice if success would be decent enough to slide over an inch or two and meet us, but life doesn’t work like that. So we need to grab it. And how we do that is by filling in the blanks:
If I could ____, then it would help me succeed.
If I could catch the eye of an agent, then it would help me succeed.
If I could build up an audience online, then it would help me succeed.
If I could launch my book well, then it would help me succeed.
Whatever your “blank” is, instead of thinking that it’s too hard to do, or something out of your control, I want you to remember to Make Your Own Luck. (Full article.)
I ran across this article on focusing on things we CAN do rather than stressing about things we have no control over, and as I reread it, it was like traveling back in time. We had just released The Emotion Thesaurus. I remember I was so…nervous and worried, I guess, but also determined. Nervous about how my first book would go, worried people would think I was some sort of fraud with no fiction books under my name, determined to do my very best to get over my self-doubt and launch the book well.
In the original article, I talked about my fear of public speaking, but how I knew putting myself out there was an important step toward my future. So I had signed myself up to give a presentation at a local conference to follow through on making my own luck.
So, how has this belief in “making my own luck” worked out?
–– 8 books written and published as of 2020, selling over 500,000 with editions in 8 languages
–Becca & I launched One Stop For Writers
And that public speaking thing? Where did that go?
An invitation to speak in Australia, giving workshops on a cruise ship, and more.
I am not mentioning any of this to say, Wow, look at me! I’m sharing this because I absolutely 100% assure you, THERE IS NOTHING SPECIAL ABOUT ME. I’m just a girl with a keyboard, like anyone else.
But if I can step outside my comfort zone and make my own luck, so can you. In fact, I hope you are, right now. If not, I urge you to get out there and do something that scares you, something that challenges you to your core. Not only will you discover you are stronger than you thought, but it will also be good for you in the long run, and each small step forward leads to another, and another.