March Theme: ON WRITING AND LUCK by Irene Latham

Have I been lucky?


I was born to loving parents who read to me and encouraged my passions. I married a man who supports me in every sense of the word. I share my life with three amazing young men. I haven’t unwittingly stepped in front of an unstoppable bus. Last April’s tornado outbreak didn’t lift a shingle from my house.

As for my writing career, yes, the timing was right and an agent said YES, then an editor said YES and I’m been welcomed with a chorus of YES from readers everywhere. SO VERY LUCKY.

But. I’ve also done the hard work: I’ve shown up.

I’ve tapped out the stories, written my check for the conferences, agonized over edits. None of that was luck. And I think it’s important for writers to move away from that idea of luck. It too easily becomes an excuse, or worse, a reason for bitterness if luck doesn’t find you, or if luck doesn’t find you soon enough.

Consider these quotes:

 “Shallow men believe in luck or in circumstance. Strong men believe in cause and effect.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I'm a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”
Thomas Jefferson

“You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.”
Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men

 “Life is not easy. We all have problems-even tragedies-to deal with, and luck has nothing to do with it. Bad luck is only the superstitious excuse for those who don't have the wit to deal with the problems of life. ”
Joan Lowery Nixon, In The Face of Danger

 “People always call it luck when you’ve acted more sensibly than they have. ”
Anne Tyler

“Luck is a word the bitter teach to the ignorant.”
Steve Maraboli

“What I'm saying is that the sun always rises. Fortune's a mix of good and bad luck. Like they say/ good luck and bad luck are strands of the same rope.”
Sakura Tsukuba, Land of the Blindfolded - Volume 8

“But, he thought, I keep them with precision. Only I have no luck anymore. But who knows? Maybe today. Every day is a new day. It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. Then when luck comes you are ready.”
Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea


  1. So true, Irene. I'm not sure who said this but the last time I heard it was from Edna in The Incredibles ...

    "Luck favors the prepared, darling."

    It's what I live by!

    1. Thanks, Trudi -- Of course Edna adds her own flair, doesn't she. :)

  2. Replies
    1. Spoken like a gal who knows about showing up, Joan! Thanks for reading.

  3. Thanks for showing up! And reminding us to do the same.

    1. Ah, Joyce... I have to remind MYSELF of this from time to time... something else nobody tells you is how hard simply showing up can be. Thanks for reading!

  4. I REALLY love that last line from the Hemingway quote.


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