There is something karmic about the fact that my day to blog falls on St. Patrick’s Day. And of course, what goes better with St. Patrick than luck (not touching the concept of green beer).
Luck gets dealt a bad hand, if you think about it. First, it’s celebrated. Luck is a good thing. We like being lucky. We like being thought of as lucky. We like charms for luck. Sports players–and fans–have hoards of lucky emblems, objects, and routines. Luck is a Big Deal.
At the same time, we live in a country (and a culture) that prizes hard work. As Calvin Coolidge said (and I’m paraphrasing), perseverance and hard work trump all. You can make it anywhere if you just pull yourself up by your bootstraps and keep on keeping on. It’s what we tell ourselves, our kids, and our friends when we stumble. “Don’t give up. With hard work, you’ll get there.” When someone we perceive as less talented, or less worthy in some regard, scores success we scoff. “Oh, she just got lucky.”
So luck either doesn’t exist (only hard work) or it’s not important and not worth celebrating.
Many of you know I’ve spent much of the past year (since May 2015) in the query trenches with my first novel (well, the first novel I’d dare share with anyone) And Corruption For All (henceforth to be referred to as Corruption). I’ll not lie to you, it’s been hard. I’ve gotten some disheartening rejections. One came a mere two hours after I pushed Send with a terse, “Thanks, but no thanks.” Many more queries have disappeared into the Internet ether, never to be heard from again.
Then again, I’ve gotten some encouraging feedback and rejections. “You are so close” or “this is really good, just not quite good enough for me to take on.” Friends, early readers, and potential agents have offered good feedback and I’ve done revisions. I feel the book is stronger. But still, no offers.
See, there is so much about publishing that is totally out of an author’s control. Is this type of book selling? Does the agent already have a client writing something similar? Is there a publisher whose ready to take a gamble on a new, untested author? And so on, and so on.
The only thing I can do is write a darn good book. I think I’ve done that. And the only thing I can do is write another. And sit. And wait. And keep sending my stories out. And keep writing more. That I can control. The writing. The effort I’m expending. My perseverance. I can’t control agents, publishers or anyone else. Nothing else to be done.
Now excuse me. I have to go rub my lucky rabbit’s foot charm and put on my lucky socks before I send out the next batch of queries.