Writer’s Key To Success: Make Your Own Luck (Case Study)

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?

RWA get fresh

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.

Where do you want to be in a year or two? Let me know so I can  cheer you on–I know you can do it. 🙂Save


Angela is a writing coach, international speaker, and bestselling author who loves to travel, teach, empower writers, and pay-it-forward. She also is a founder of One Stop For Writers, an online library packed with powerful tools to help writers elevate their storytelling.
This entry was posted in Emotion Thesaurus Guide, Experiments, Focus, Goal and Milestones, One Stop For Writers, Positive & Negative Thesaurus Guides, The Business of Writing, Uncategorized, Writer's Attitude. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Writer’s Key To Success: Make Your Own Luck (Case Study)

  1. Mary R. Woldering says:

    I’ve been self published for almost 2 years, glanced through 1% of the thousands of “Read Mine for success” books and sites, thought positively, negatively, and everything in between but had very little impact on the reading world. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m just not organized enough to take advantage of the wonderful ideas for marketing and still actually write stories. I think I just wanted people to love my stories and characters and spread the word to others and maybe work my way out of publishing debt. So far…

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  3. Carolee says:

    Just here basking in your great news and the important YES-YOU-CAN message for writers!

  4. I hope to make my own luck someday soon!! Thanks for the pep talk!!

  5. Over a lifetime of challenges, I’ve learned that nothing stops my success faster than a negative attitude. A clear intention, a vision that radiates vitality, and an honest effort is a recipe for success. I’ve found that occasionally, some alterations may be recommended, as well as a dash of humility. An attitude of gratitude is a bonus. One can fly successfully solo; however, as Poo recommended, it’s always better with two. Friends, experienced guides, and a cheering team help make the journey so much more fun. I’m so blessed that Writers Helping Writers has been my ‘pit crew’ for that past year. That is why Forbidden will be published and receive fabulous reviews. Thank you.

    • This is just a wealth of insight here, and it really is about being positive, being willing to try new things and take on the council of others or seek out help when one knows they need it. I am so happy we were able to be part of your support system, and so happy to hear how your journey is going. Keep at it, keep challenging yourself, and keep loving the process of learning and growing. This is the magic, I think. 🙂

  6. P.S. I am printing these four words out and taping by my computer. 🙂

  7. Wonderful post. I will remember this. In three years I want to have three in the publishing works picture books, one novel published and a non-fiction book self-published. I will make my own luck. YEAH! Thank you, Ange and Becca. Whatever I accomplish, I owe a lot you you guys. Love you both so much!

  8. shelley says:

    This is absolutely wonderful, Angela. You and Becca have been instrumental in “cheering” me on from the start of my publishing journey many years ago up to this week when I had my first book published and have now signed a contract for three more. Your work has been instructive and inspirational and I cherish the contribution both of you have made in helping me to become a more educated, creative and thoughtful writer.
    I congratulate you both on your monumental success these last few years, and also say thank you for helping me to taste mine.
    Cheers to you both!

  9. My first book was published yesterday. Yes, ma’am, one does indeed make one’s own luck. Great post!

  10. AJ Blythe says:

    In 3 years I want to be a full-time published author.

    Look forward to meeting you in Melbourne at the RWA conference next week!

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