Rethinking The 10%

Last year I posted a somewhat gloomy post about how getting published was 30% talent, 30% hard work, 30% persistence, and 10% of luck (or something like that – don’t ask me to check). And that the problem I had with that equation was that the 10% was something you had no control over. It might happen. Or it could never happen. It all depends on a combination of the right manuscript, the right publisher, the right editor, at the right time.

Or, in another analogy, a combination of wind speed, trajectory, and the weight of the pig.

Yeah, gloomy, depressing. And I am a great one for looking on the depressing side because sometimes you just don’t want to hope.

Luckily I have a mother who is the most incredibly supportive person you could ever want to meet (hi Mum!) and something she said to me last night got me thinking about that old 10%. She reckoned that if luck is involved, all it means is that you have to spread your net wider until you eventually catch something. The wider the net, the greater the chance.

I know, people have been saying this to me for a while now and I have been listening. It’s just that I’m a person who gets very focussed on one thing and shifting that focus can be difficult. But this year I’m going to give it a go. This year I’m going to try something a little different.

And starting it off is going to be my first attempt at a novella. I’ve never really liked short stories to be honest (except for Roald Dahl) – I like my stories long. And as far as writing one…I have difficulty with keeping under 50k let alone writing reeeeeaaaallly short. But I had an idea for a shorter story a couple of weeks ago and…well…gotta widen that net, right? Besides, as my six year old keeps telling me, ‘only try, Mummy. You have to try’. 🙂

So, anyone else widening their net and trying something different? If so, what is it? Share!

12 thoughts on “Rethinking The 10%”

  1. Jackie, I firmly believe that luck is overrated. While there is perhaps a certain level of caprice in this business, I also think success happens when preparation meets opportunity.

    So yes, cast your net wide. And make sure you’re prepared, so that when opportunity comes you’re ready to seize it. That’s the best advice I’d give anyone who’s looking to be published. 🙂

  2. Hey Donna! Nice to hear from you. Luck IS overrated! I really like your take on it. A much more positive spin than being at the mercy of the fates. I ‘think’ I’m prepared. Just need to keep my eyes peeled for the opportunity. Thanks for the advice.

  3. Very smart move, Jackie!! We only have control over certain elements, and maximizing your opportunities is definitely one of them.

    And I think your mother’s explanation is brilliant!!

    Go, Jackie, GO!! We all believe in you!

  4. Aw how cute is your six year old! I’m excited that you’re going to write a novella! Do we get details? I’m putting in an official vote for details.

    Happy writing!

  5. Rach – yeah, I think I remember Robyn saying that too. Good advice huh?

    Lacey – Details? Ummmm *twists hands nervously* It’s a friends to lovers story. And that’s pretty much all I know too!
    And yeah, my little one is pretty cute. So serious too. 🙂

  6. I’m writing short stories as well as M&B’s. Typing “The End” comes a whole lot sooner I can tell ya’! Also getting a “R” isn’t so hard to take as it with a full MS that you’ve sweated so long over. And…shock, horror, I have had one of my shorts published…and got money for it! Yay! Caroline x p.s go for the Novella. It sounds like fun.

  7. Great to hear Jackie. Great idea from your Mum – aren’t Mums wonderful??!!!

    And love your daughter’s comments – so sweet.

    All the best with your novella 🙂

  8. Joanne – yeah, I hear you! Mum’s are wondering. Wouldn’t know what to do without mine. And my daughter…lol, she’s a funny little thing all right. Thanks re the novella!

  9. jackie, your equation may well be right. But the good thing is, it’s still 90% up to you.

    I’m so gald you are speading your net wider. This novella is awesomely good so far (iz jelus!) and they will love it.

    Caroline, yay for the short story publication!

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