Is it Luck or Hard Work That Spells Success?

I’ve been thinking about luck and freelancing lately. I’ve noticed something that I tend to do, and I’ve decided that I need to give myself an attitude adjustment. Here’s the scoop:

I’ve caught myself explaining to people who have been kind enough to ask about my writing career that I’ve been very lucky. A friend of mine gently reminded me that I have worked very hard and that luck had nothing to do with it. She’s right.

When I was trying to get started, it took awhile for me to get to the point where I was working regularly. Rather than blame the situation on “bad” luck, I figured that I wasn’t working hard enough. That wasn’t true, any more than getting positive results has to do with pure, dumb luck.

Rather than assume that landing a great gig has to do with being lucky or in the right place at the right time, a better approach is to give yourself a pat on the back and tell yourself that your hard work got you the experience or helped you make the contact that led to whatever it is that is working for you now.

I’ve lost track of the gigs that I’ve applied for that I didn’t get. The irony of being paid to find leads and still not getting hired when I’ve applied for some of them is not lost on me. But I kept plugging away and developed contacts that have led to getting hired for freelance writing gigs.

Do I feel lucky when I get hired? You bet. It’s a privilege to work with a client to help them build their business in some way. Is it all down to luck? No way.

The next time someone asks me about my career (so far), I’ll tell them that I feel fortunate to have met some wonderful people and that I have worked very hard to get where I am. What are you doing to make your own luck when it comes to freelance writing?





2 responses
  1. Phil Avatar

    It always ticked me off when my mother would say I was lucky to have a certain job (different jobs at different times). I worked hard to have those positions. Luck had nothing to do with it (not saying that divine intervention doesn’t exist, but believe God has more important things to think about than my career).

    If you work hard enough, you make your own luck. Just working hard will bring up opportunities that one wouldn’t get otherwise. People see your name or your work more often the more that you do. I’ve gotten unsolicited work as a result. Not a ton, but some significant projects.

    Of course, one needs to work smart, too.

  2. Jodee Avatar

    @ Phil: I understand what you mean about other people. At one point, I landed a job with a very prestigious law firm. My roommate at the time responded to the news by making a comment that I must think that I’m hot sh*t now. I got ticked off enough to tell her that I didn’t just think I was hot sh*t – I was hot sh*t. Not sure why some people can’t just say congrats or whatever.

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