Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Bit of Luck

As I sit writing, my mind occasionally wanders. Most of the time, I catch it before it can go too far off course. There are times, however, when I find myself wondering what I’m doing spending my time writing books that I can’t get an agent for much less get a publisher for it.

It has occurred to me to wonder how much luck has do with a writing career. An author is in the right place at the right time, an author meets a friend of a friend who just happens to be an agent/editor, or an author is selling his self-published book out of the trunk of his car and a passerby buys one, loves it, and sends it to friend in NYC who happens to be looking for just that kind of book, or the lucky writer who found an agent who saw some spark in his writing and took a chance by representing him and finding a publisher who also saw that spark.

Meanwhile, the majority of writers toil away perfecting their craft and diligently keeping their hopes alive with the occasional success stories being told around a virtual camp fire about some unknown writer hitting it big. I was thinking the other day that nearly every profession has stories of someone become an “overnight” success after being discovered. I think that’s why we continue to write with little real hope of reaching the top of the best seller lists. That’s not the reason we write, to hit the top of the best sellers list, but it is part of the dream, isn’t it?

Today, we writers read about how fast publishing is changing, from e-books to Amazon becoming a publisher to how the iPad is going to change the book world. How are we to know whether our writing will find a place in the new world of publishing? It’s a scary place out there for writers today. I have to hope that the new modality will be a boon to the writer who hasn’t yet written her best seller and who only needs a bit of luck to go from toiling writer to best selling author.

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