This from my favorite blogger, Don Miller:
2/2/11 Every successful creator has friends who think he or she is lucky. They met that one curator at a coffee shop, or Oprah’s housekeeper accidentally left that book behind in the kitchen. And the truth is their friends are right. They did get lucky. Everybody gets lucky. Luck is like the weather, it comes and goes, it makes crazy things happen randomly. But unless you actually spend the hours painting those paintings, meeting the curator amounts to nothing. And unless you put in the year to write the book, it can’t get left behind on Oprah’s counter.
Luck favors the prepared.
My friend Melisa told me about some people she’d heard of that win sweepstakes professionally. They enter drawings, lotteries, play bingo and sweepstakes and win an enormous amount of money every year. Are they lucky? Perhaps, but you would be too if you spent eight hours a day filling out forms and entering contests. It’s not unlike that with a creators work.
Don’t worry about luck. You can’t do anything about the weather and you can’t do anything about luck. All you can do is work. All you can do is create, and let your work go into as many places as it can so that good things will randomly happen.
Remember a few posts ago I admitted I had a dream of being "discovered". Well Mr. Miller spoke right to that hope in my heart. If that lucky day comes and I've nothing to show for it, it won't really be a lucky day at all will it?
All year long (seeing as how it's 33 days into 2011 ... but still ALL year) Mr. Miller has been kicking my writing butt. I swear it's as if he is fully aware of my journey to writerdom. February 1sts thoughts are still bouncing around my head. He blogs:
I liked this line from the film True Grit: “I do not entertain hypotheticals, the world as it is is vexing enough.”
Most of the things we worry about, as creators, never happen. We are not as rejected as we think we are, in fact, our creation has given us a greater community, even if we do have a few critics. And we did not fail as badly as we thought we would, and if we did fail, people hardly noticed. Most of the fears we entertain as creators have to do with hypothetical situations, things that could happen. But this is a waste of valuable creative energy. Most likely, things we think will happen won’t. A creator takes risks, a consumer lives in safety. Are you a creator or consumer?
When you are tempted to entertain thoughts of pending doom, ask yourself what real problems you have, not what hypothetical problems you have. Most likely you have very few real problems. Most likely the resistance between you and your creation is in your head. The only thing you really have to do, then, is work. Let the consumers serve on committees about pending earthquakes, about serial killers, about the return of small pox, you just do your work.
This blog is relatively secret. I've never published it. Never linked it to my very active Facebook account. I have a vague link on our family website. I guess it is possible for someone to accidentally find it - if they really looked. And I wanted it that way. I wanted to have the safe security of not having anyone look over my shoulder because they might (as in hypothetically) hate it/find it boring/it's just another blogger clogging up my web feed/ etc... etc... etc...
In otherwords, part of me has the audacity to hope to be discovered while part of the, apparently the ruling part, is refusing to take risks, entertains thoughts of pending doom and is afraid of failing in front of the entire world - when in reality - the world probably wouldn't even notice.
So do I thank Don Miller? because I'm feeling brave enough to go "public" (and btw this has always been a public site I've not been foolish enough to block the world from it, I just set the world up by thinking if they looked hard enough I could be found). Why am I making myself - a wanna be author - hard to find?
If this is an epic fail, however, I am fully aware I could spend an entire future blog blaming Don Miller. (Listen, I don't even know the guy. I love his blogs. I'm trying to figure out a way to make it to his next Storyline Conference in Portland, OR ... that's the whole thing that started this blog anyway).
O Lord, help me!