It's one of those Urban Legends kind of things. Seven's a lucky number. Or is it three? Three times is a charm, right? Or is it twenty-one? I guess if you're in Vegas or Atlantic City, it's threes, sevens and twenty ones. In some Eastern traditions, its four that's lucky. Then there's four-leafed clovers for luck if you're Irish (or even if you're not!) Rabbit's feet - not so lucky for the rabbit - but lucky. Horseshoes, but only if they're turned upright, so the luck doesn't run out.
In writing, we talk a lot about luck. We write about it. Lucky meetings, lucky guesses, Luck is a Lady; you name it, we use it no matter how cliched. Sometimes we use it as we write because it IS a cliche. Everyone recognizes the symbolism, you don't have to spell it out. If I write that my villain's vanity license plate is 007, every reader everywhere pretty much has an idea of who my suspect at least WANTS to be. And in that scenario, its often fun to have that same potential villain be a completely atypical, so-not-Bond type. (Mmmmmm, Brosnan as Bond...) The point being, using that simple device, I don't really have to explain anything. Most people get the joke on the first shot. Same thing if I have my character carry the lucite-encased four leaf clover, or a St. Jude medal. Icons reveal entire concepts and character issues or flaws in one fell swoop.
But back to luck...I don't think there is one writer out there who's ever won a contest, been asked for a full, or gotten the Call who doesn't attribute something to luck. Is writing hard work? You bet. Do you have to hone your craft, learn the trade, walk the walk? Without a doubt. But then there's that extra little thing... "Yeah, I got lucky!" we all say. (And no, we're not talking about our significant others. Snicker!) Or its, "how lucky is it that the other Editor went on maternity leave and my wonderful Editor read my manuscript trying to clear her desk!" Or one I heard not too long ago...."I just happened to walk up as this agent was talking about how her fav editor wanted a really great pirate book...and I have one!" (That's now a pending sale!)
It frequently feels like this road sign picture. All the way over and back again, sometimes doing 90 miles per hour to get a manuscript done, only to have it go nowhere. But we all know, one day, we'll get lucky. Of course, we Banditas already did - we found each other, and YOU too!
Its not just writing, of course. Lucky in love is the best thing there is, which is one of the reasons we Bandits are so fond of writing about it! Luck of the draw sometimes gets you the worst judge on the worst day of his or her life when she picks up YOUR entry. Lucky break gets you the Editor who just came back from maternity leave, rarin' to go, happy to be back with your manuscript at the top of the pile. Right time, right day, right phase of the moon, right editor. Click. You can almost hear Lady Luck lining up the events for your success.
So, what about you? Do you believe in luck? What's the luckiest thing that every happened to you? (In love, in writing, in life...take your pick!) I'll tell you mine.... AND...who's the best Bond? Craig? Brosnan? Connery?