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THE ROLE OF LUCK IN LANDING A WRITING CAREER

Posted on May 26, 2014

As any self-respecting and self-reflecting self-publishing writer does, I dwell on how to acheive success. I measure success in some part with generating enough income to do this writing gig full-time.

I'm about three years into seriously penning my books and have seventeen to show for it. And probably about that many readers. Kidding there.

I am not posting in frustration. I love writing and the number of readers who follow my works doesn't matter to me as much as the joy I experience at crafting the actual stories.

A recent email from a veteran writer who has read most of my work and reviewed them favorably got me thinking as to what element is missing in pushing my work into the realm of receiving heavy exposure and large readership. He boiled it down to luck. He stated that having your work reach the right pair of eyes at the right time is the biggest determinant in a writer having a career.

Did this dishearten me? Did it knock the wind out of my sails? Well, first off, I'm not a fickle – sailboat. And secondly, I'm made of heartier stuff than that.

Do I think he's right? I actually do. I think that there is a delicate confluence of events that creates writing careers or any career where achieving public good graces is highly selective. I think that you can't force momentum with one's career. But what you can do is create more opportunities for luck to find you.

Take this post for instance. What if several dozen readers fancied this rambling diatribe, posted on various social media and it drove readers to try my work or put the eyes of a powerful agent or publishing house on my body of work? They''d see I have drive, creativity and can produce results. They'd see I am trying my darnedest to court luck and attract happenstance.

So let's help my personal kismet along here. I know I'm going to do all I can to find my luck. I've been pretty lucky so far in other areas. I just need to nudge probability a little in my favor.

Here's what I'm doing to encourage luck:

– Writing as many books as I can each year

– Pouring heart into each book

– Popping out characters that have verve and nerve

– Posting often on a variety of topics

– Contacting more reviewers to try my work

– Offering the first books in any of my series for free once and a while

– Creating new properties alongside continuing series

– Working with the talented Keith Robinson on more joint efforts

– Being true to myself and writing about misunderstood monsters in wildly creative settings and circumstances

– Reaching out to readers to ask them to help me steer luck my way

So that's the game plan. I'm mighty curious as to what the next few years will bring my way. Thanks for hearing me out and wish me luck! How about helping me game the system? Then you could brag about being a first adopter, a discoverer of diamonds in the rough.

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