Last week I talked about my experience with the Breathless Reads authors. One of the audience members asked how difficult it was for the authors to be published, and Ally Condie likened it to being struck by lightning, but reminded us that in order for that to happen, you have to be standing in the rain.
I’ve been thinking a lot about that lately. I’m not a person who really believes in luck, per se. Never win raffles, rarely have my name randomly drawn, and the most I’ve ever won in a casino is like, $60. But every once in a while, luck finds me anyway (like that $60—.75 in a slot machine? Really?).
The perfect pair of shoes, in my size, on the clearance rack. That specialty item my kids are dying to own (along with every other kid on the planet) on a shelf at Christmastime. Being in the local library and finding a flier to a writer’s conference that would launch me into a career I love.
Luck? Destiny? Fate? Whatever you want to call it, it's there.
The thing is, in all the above mentioned situations (and countless many others), luck found me because I was looking for it. I would never have won that money if I hadn’t stopped long enough to throw my change in a machine (just to see it spin). Those shoes? Still my favorites. They cost me $10. Christmastime specialty items? Finding those is part timing, part knowing where to look, and part dogged determination (and yes, I’m really good at that). The flier? Huh. Total divine inspiration. Someone Upstairs knew how badly I needed to attend that conference.
So when Ally mentioned standing in the rain? That struck home for me. Because I will never find an agent if I’m not actively querying. And I will never sell a book if I’m not actively writing. And I will never be a successful author if I’m not absolutely determined to make it.
As much as I hate cold and gloom, I guess I’m okay with the rain continuing for a while. Because I’m standing out here, arms spread wide (holding metal in my hands), and eventually the right electric charge will find me.