Monday, February 18, 2013


by S. L. Duncan

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably read enough articles about the publishing industry to teach a writing studies course at your local community college. And no doubt, you’ve probably read somewhere that a big part of making it, of getting published, falls into the hands of pure, dumb luck.

This is not one of those articles.

Look. There are a hundred different ingredients in the recipe of becoming a good writer, and luck is absolutely one of them. With enough time and hard work, you’re going to pull something out of the oven one day that ain't half bad. If the stars align, maybe the world will get a taste.

So be patient. In the meantime, stop and take stock of just how lucky you already are at this moment.

I’ve suffered through a few identity crises. Probably having one right now. I think most authors do. Hell, I think most humans do. Nobody’s ever been born knowing what they’re going to be passionate about in life. No doctor ever popped a kid out of his mother, spanked him and announced, “He’ll make a fine plumber.” A lot of folks stumble through their years, bouncing off of failed efforts and lost interests, seeking something that sparks them to wake up to their own lives. It’s one of the biggest obstacles of growing up: discovering yourself through your passions. And who the hell knows what they're passionate about until they've tried it? How many would-be Speilbergs never held a camera? How many would-be Ronoldos never kicked a football?

It happens though - people luck into something they love. They discover a talent they want to grow and nurture. They figure out a small part of who they are in the world, and let me tell you, that is nothing short of extraordinary. But if you look hard enough you can spot them, these lucky souls. That actor that lets the role consume her. That artist that expands the notion of creativity. The teacher that opens up the universe to young minds. The janitor that beams with pride at the shine on the linoleum.

And then there’s you.

You found a pen and paper and spilled a few words onto a page and in doing so, you found joy. How lucky is that? How lucky is it that you’ve found something you love? Maybe you can make a career out of it and maybe you can’t. Who cares, though? You’ve found this and it’s yours.

With all the distractions and pressures of life, it’s easy to linger in your day-to-day existence, consumed by work, by reality television, by whatever, carrying on just to satisfy that power bill. But even if that still sounds like your life, you’ve got your writing. It’s that little corner of light in your life that you can run to and just let loose your passion and somehow, everything else becomes clearer. You become clearer.

If only everyone were fortunate enough to find their passion.

Lucky you.

S. L. Duncan writes young adult fiction, including his debut, the first book in The Revelation Saga, due in 2014 from Medallion Press. You can find him blogging on and on Twitter.


JeffO said...

Nice post. Thanks!

Jemi Fraser said...

Love this! I do feel lucky a lot in my life - my family, my day job, my writing... Thanks for the reminder to remember! :)

S. L. Duncan said...

Thanks, y'all!

Jolie du Pre said...

I'm blessed and/or lucky in all aspects of my life. I'm living my dream job of being a full-time writer. I have an awesome marriage. My kids are doing great. I love my home. My health is excellent. Frankly, some of it is luck, but most of it is there for me because I worked to get the life I wanted.