August 07, 2008
Daily Blog 8: Good Luck and Good Writing
Many believe today is a day of good luck because of the day, date and year being the same, and being all eights.
In China, starting the Olympics on 8-8-08 at 8:8:08 was no coincidence. Instead it was considered exceedingly lucky since to the Chinese, numbers take their meaning from words of similar sound, with the number eight (pronounced like "baa" similar to the word "fa") meaning wealth and to prosper.
Some consider such beliefs superstitious, while others arrange things in their life in the hope that their efforts will be blessed with good luck and good fortune.
Even in this country, today's date is being met with enthusiasm. Couples, in San Francisco, for instance, are planning to get married today so their wedded life can be blessed with "good luck." A Las Vegas hotel will even have a Lion Dance to dispel evil spirits and bring in good luck and prosperity.
People will be playing the lottery today and wishing for good luck.
What does this mean to writers? That depends - are you superstitious or believe in making choices that will pave the way to your own good fortune?
Lady Luck is fickle. Ask the gambler who always thinks the next big win is in the next turn of a card or the flip of a machine handle. But "luck" can become a religion, a faith of sorts, with the "believer" thinking that they'll only be lucky if they do such and such, or buy this, or do that. Life becomes a kind of prison in pursuit of "luck."
We all want to have good fortune and wish the same for others. But no lucky rabbit's foot, no lucky penny, no lucky ritual, will replace one thing - work and preparation. Some writers seem to be "lucky," hitting it big with their first novel, while others may toil for years and never become known beyond a certain area.
No writer has achieved any level of success by luck alone. (In several instances, a few who seemed to be "lucky" and amazingly talented turned out to be frauds, relying on plagiarism and cheating to become successes.)
Being a writer is work. Even the best of writers can have days when the words simply don't flow; when the best output is a few lines or graphs. But no great, mediocre or mid-level writer gets to the page that says The End without work - researching, reading, writing, re-writing and editing.
Luck is good. Working to change your "luck," or let's say improve your lot or improve your skills, is much more meaningful.
When someone seeks to achieve some measure of success, we wish them good luck. What we really mean to say is that we wish them well and admire the work they are putting in to get the hoped-for results.
** Your Turn: Superstitious? Have any rituals you have to do to write? Or feel free to share your view of luck and success.