Saturday, April 10, 2010

Stepping in It

“You’re really stepping in the sh*t lately,” my father commented to me earlier, after I’d shared some good news with him.

I understood what he meant. That I’ve been pretty lucky the last few months.
Well, at least in writing-related things, anyway.

The latest bit of good tidings had come my way this morning. I received an email from an agent requesting the full manuscript of my novel.

Now this came about in sort of a roundabout way. I’d entered an agent-sponsored contest a few weeks ago, and I didn’t win. But a few hours after the winners were announced, I got an email from the agent to tell me that while I hadn’t won, I’d been among his top picks and that if I sent along my query letter, he’d be happy to at least give me a little bit of feedback.

So late last night, off went my query letter.

This morning, I woke to find a return email in my mailbox…requesting my full manuscript.

Flash forward to the conversation with my father. As he went on to say, he didn’t in any way mean to belittle my accomplishments these past few months, but we got to talking about luck and what role it played in these little (or occasionally big) "good things."

It’s an interesting question, and one that I’d guess a lot of writers think about. I know I think about it

And I do think luck plays a part in it, for better or for worse. But I also think that to some extent we make our own luck. And I think that we can only be “lucky” if we’re out there and open for it.

It might require some measure of luck to hit the right editor (or agent) with the right story at the right time, but that luck isn’t going to happen if you aren’t putting any story in front of any editor (or agent) at any time. And conversely, the more stories you put in front of more editors (or at least the more times you put a single story in front of editors) the better chances that you’ll hit that coveted bull’s-eye.

And okay, so that’s probably an oversimplification. And yes, there are so many other factors that figure in. And yes, there are always going to be those beginner’s luck stories where someone succeeds on their first go-round. But I like to stay on the side of the numbers.

Like a lot of you, I’m putting my work out there on a regular basis, whether it’s short stories or novels. If I find a worthwhile contest, I enter it, even if it means sleepless nights of word-crunching to prepare my entry. For better or for worse, I’m always trying to look two steps ahead to see where my next opportunity may lie. I’d rather face a million rejections than miss out on the one opportunity that might change everything. I don’t want to take any chance that I’ll miss that fickle friend, luck, when it comes winging my way.

And maybe that’s not luck at all. Maybe it’s just perseverance. And maybe I am stepping in the sh*t lately, as my father so eloquently put it, but that’s because I’m always walking, and I don’t plan to stop anytime soon.

I also want to say a big thank you to Nicole Ducleroir for the Sweet Blog Award! Nicole’s blog, One Significant Moment at a Time is one of my new favorites, so please take some time and check it out.



The Meaning :
Sweet Blog Award is an award for blog which you think is so friendly and make you enjoy to visit it often.

So now there's two things:
1. I give this award to ten people
2. The people I give this award to need to make a post about the award (include the picture & the person that gave it to you!)

I’m passing this award to…

I’m going to defer on this for a little while. Since I’m so new to the blogging world, I want to take my time and make sure to put some thought into this. So stay tuned…

9 comments:

  1. Lisa,

    Oh good lord, just so many congratulations!

    Maybe luck does have a bit to do with it, but I think that your skill and talent figure more importantly.

    I'm so glad that you're blogging and providing links... :)

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  2. I've been told that luck is what happens when opportunity meets preparation, so i guess luck can be created. But lucky or not, congrats on your accomplishments!

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  3. Hurray for the full MS request - that's awesome news! I agree with you that luck plays a role, but we have to position ourselves in such a way the we are ready for it to happen. We'll never get requests for a full if the query wasn't sent or the contest wasn't entered. Good for you for putting yourself out there! :-)

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  4. HUGE HUGE HUGE congratulations on the full MS request! And while there IS some luck--apparently this contest had an agent who was well suited to your story, but if it wasn't terrific (at least what he's seen so far) then there would be no request. And THAT, sister, is all on you! I hope he loves it!

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  5. COngrats on your award. That has to be the cutest award I've sen yet.

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  6. Congrats on the full! Luck is 90% persistence and ten percent circumstance. Good luck! And never give up!

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  7. Congrats on the full request, Lisa! Can't wait to hear what happens!!! Also congrats on the award - I've actually left you another award on my blog :D

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  8. Congratulations on the request of your ms. One step closer to the goal! I admit, I feel like a lot of the hit or miss has to do with 'the right agent at the right time' as well. I've read some published books and thought 'HOW did this get here?' The writing might have been a little hard to swallow, the plot stagnant, the dialogue a little fleeting for my tastes- BUT it got published because it fell into the hands of an agent and then a publisher who LIKED it. Just like everyone has different tastes or opinions in books they read out there in the market.

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  9. Kitty... Thank you. And not just for your kind words here but for your support over these past few (more than a few now, isn't it?) years. It means the world to me.

    Classic NYer... Thank you. And I love that idea that luck happens when opportunity meets preparation.

    Shannon... Thank you. I agree. I see people who are so afraid to put themselves out there and I want to tell them that nothing good is ever going to happen until they do!

    Watery Tart... Thank you! I'm not holding my breath, but of course I hope he loves it too. An dif nothing else, it's given me a good confidence boost to really push with this manuscript.

    T. Anne... Thanks! I think the award is adorable, too. It's one of those that just kind of makes me smile to look at.

    Bethany... Thank you! You know, it's funny seeing all these quotes about luck, because they all seem to say essentially the same thing. It's a truth that I like.

    Zoe... Thank you! And thank you for the award. This has been such a crazy week for me. I'm really looking forward to the weekend when I can get my act together and really spend some time on blogging.

    Creepy Query Girl... Okay, I just LOVE your handle, lol. And thank you! You're right, so much of this is all the right agent at the right time. I've thought the same thing about books that are out there. But somebody loved them enough to champion them. It's comforting in its own way.

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