Why Perseverance Leads to Luck

I’ve known for a while that having a story published or even more difficult, landing a literary agent, is a matter of luck AND hopefully — perseverance. Over the years I’ve done pretty poorly in the luck department as door prizes, lotteries and give-aways stubbornly elude me.

No matter how good the odds, I don’t win. Considering that more than a thousand submissions land in an editor’s or literary agent’s inbox on a monthly basis, lots of luck is required to draw the agent’s attention. Even if I have painstakingly followed every submission guideline, had my query reviewed, critiqued, edited and revised at least 65 times, success still requires catching the very busy, overworked and distracted editor at the right moment. Further complicated by the evermore uncertain publishing environment: the shrinking number of book stores and the shaky fate of the printed page. Brrrh! Even digging for gold in Alaska seems to promise better chances.


The harder I work the more luck I have. John Heywood

Therefore, I’ve decided to bet on perseverance. Didn’t John Heywood say, that “the harder he worked the more luck he had?” I’ve decided this attitude is the only way, I will succeed. Especially after reading in one of the writer magazines that one of its successful authors had submitted a story 87 times before achieving first place and publication in a well-known literary magazine. She also shared that she’d been turned down by the same magazine for the same exact story a few months earlier. Amazing!

I don’t know if I’d have the stamina to submit one story this many times. I’d hopefully seek and receive feedback long before and keep revising. But I am convinced that my stories will conquer. Especially after submitting one of the chapters in my first competition and placing as a finalist in Glimmer Train’s Fiction Open. I had to mention it one more time. Now, back to work — luck is on its way.