Lady Luck Schmuck
Who believes it all about luck then?
“It’s all luck. Harrisson Ford sawing a bit of wood in front of Lucas and bang next minute… Yeah read biographies of all the great actors, directors, writers… I guarantee you’ll see their chance came about through some massively fortuitous meeting!”
Hmmm well yes perhaps, but perhaps it’s time to pop that old mythological lady luck bubble. Precious “it’s always someone else’s fault” writers look away now, this will be harsh. Stop clinging to cliches, stop looking for excuses and just bloody well write. I’m going to now give you the secret to success. Yes you heard me and you don’t even need to give me your credit card details. Here you are the 5 steps to success.
- Get out and meet other writers, publishers, agents and fans.
While the whole Dan Abnett interview is still fresh in mind I will use him as an example.
How did Dan Abnett get to write 30 novels for The Black Library? It’s so unfair don’t you think? He was just lucky, he was just in the right place at the right time. There he was scribbling a few comics for the Warhammer game and then it’s suddenly “would you like to write stories?” “would you like to write novels?” You can’t write for franchises that way anymore, oh no, you have to already be a successful novelist before they will even look at your CV.
Shut up. You couldn’t write for franchises that way eleven years ago either, Black Library trusted Dan to deliver because they were already well aware of his, work ethic, his deliverability and his popularity.
Well then it was luck that he even got his job at Marvel in the first place, I mean it wasn’t even the right interview he turned up at.
Again a big WRONGO! Every author that you think only got there because of luck has worked extremely hard before any of that luck paid off. First of all they have to have things to show for their efforts to even be noticed by anyone during the inevitable ‘fortuitous meeting’ and then they have to have the dedication to keep up that level of work in order to become the success you have read about. Believe me if they didn’t, you wouldn’t have read about them.
OK that’s all very well, but I’m one of those extremely talented authors who just hasn’t got the break. I can write and work as hard as the best of them, but I just haven’t bumped into that producer or publisher who will make me famous.
Then ask yourself what you’re not doing?
Oh I send all my work off to agents and publishers and all I ever get back is standard rejection letters. I mean I can tell they haven’t even read it.
Sending your work out is one thing (an essential part of being a writer), but writing is like any other profession, it is a community. Are you part of that community? Do you go to Q&A’s, book signings, conventions, festivals, local writing groups, your library?
Ah… oh well… then has it ever occurred to you that you might just be a rather obnoxious person who is only concerned with telling everyone how you ‘totally deserve to be published and everyone in the industry are Asshats for not seeing it’?